Former two-division UFC champion Georges St-Pierre has opened up on a long-discussed superfight with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, which now seems impossible.
Nurmagomedov, 29-0, announced his retirement from MMA in October, after defeating Justin Gaethje via submission. However, Nurmagomedov had long expressed interest in fighting St-Pierre—who is also retired—in his 30th and final MMA fight.
Given that both men seem content to stick to their retirement plans, this fight now seems impossible.
Speaking on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, St-Pierre opened up on this would-be superfight.
“I was in the same boat as everybody,” St-Pierre said (via MMA Fighting) “I thought maybe he would have called me out to maybe pressure the UFC to organize the fight.
“It doesn’t mean I would have accepted,” St-Pierre said. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, when is it going to happen?’ I never said I wanted to do it. It depends (on) the conditions too. I could think about it seriously if the conditions are right in terms of the weight class and all that, but there’s no way I’m gonna go down to 155 now. I’m 39 years old and this is out of the window…
“We’re both about the same size. I’m not gonna lie,” St-Pierre added. “I wake up in the morning and I’m about 183 pounds. I’m sure he’s about the same weight as me if not probably bigger. So I think the weight class — it’s like a novelty fight, a superfight — you need to stipulate the rule maybe no weight class or maybe (that) you cannot be more than three percent different in terms of weight. I don’t know but there’s ways to do it. You don’t have to cut weight and damage yourself to do something like that.”
Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov are two of the most dominant fighters in MMA history. As such, a potential scrap between them would have been difficult to call.
St-Pierre recognizes it would have been a monumental challenge, but wouldn’t have changed much from his typical gameplan in this matchup.
“If in a hypothetical world this fight would happen, I think I would need to use all my tools,” St-Pierre explained. “I’m good at what I do and it’s not because I’m fighting Khabib that I’m gonna change my way of fighting. The way I fight, that’s how I’ve been successful all of my career. I think the mistake that a lot of guys are doing when they fight Khabib is that they change the way they’re fighting because Khabib is very known to be probably the best wrestler in the sport. (But) I’m good with the takedown, to mix it up. It’s not because I’m fighting Khabib that I’m not gonna mix it up with him. If I have a chance to put him down, I’m gonna try to put him down. I believe in my chance to put him down and I’m confident in myself.
“I think confidence is a very important piece of the puzzle in MMA to be successful and I believe a lot of guys when they fight a legend fighter status, part of that confidence and their skill goes out the window,” St-Pierre added. “That’s one of the mistakes I would not do because I know Khabib would not do it against myself.”
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