Georges St-Pierre broke down exactly where he believes he would be able to get the better of Khabib Nurmagomedov in a recent interview with TSN.
The former two-weight world champion hasn’t fought since his incredible UFC 217 victory over Michael Bisping back in 2017 but even now, at 38, it’s hard to be fully certain that GSP won’t return for the right fight.
The two losses he sustained during his peak years, to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, were defeats that he managed to avenge in incredibly impressive fashion shortly after and save for a divisive win over the powerful Johny Hendricks – St-Pierre’s career was one that saw him get the better of every man who shared the octagon with him.
Now, while undoubtedly in his twilight years, Georges has made his wish to fight UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov clear in recent times – citing the fact that he too is seen as an immovable object of sorts within the sport, making him a challenge worthy of his own narrow criteria.
And it would make sense. In his own words, GSP is only really looking for the fights that further cement his legacy in the ever-shifting G.O.A.T conversation and with beating Nurmagomedov now clearly the biggest prize in sport aside from defeating Jon Jones, the appeal is certainly there.
Speaking in a recent interview with TSN, Georges broke down where he feels the fight will be won and lost against The Eagle.
“If I want the legacy fight, Khabib is the man to beat right now. He is the best fighter in the world right now to me. Undefeated, and he hasn’t shown any kind of weakness. Nobody has ever been close to solving the puzzle. So that’s why it was very interesting for me.
“There are different areas of the fight where I’m better than him. Even though he’s better than me in some stuff, I’m quicker in and out and controlling the distance and getting inside for the takedown. (I’m) faster in the open stance.
“He’s better near the fence. I’m better in the open. If I get that fight in the open, I win.”
“Maybe they don’t want me to beat him because if I leave after that, I ruin their own investment,” he said.
It’s hard to know if the UFC will be keen on this one. Of course, St-Pierre remains one of the biggest stars in the history of the sport but in a matchup against Khabib, the promotion could well be risking one of their most notable global pulls in a pairing with a guy who will likely retire directly after the fight.
Perhaps they will make the move, but with the prospect of another huge money showdown between Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, one would have to assume that the UFC will favour keeping the champ away from any unnecessary fights outside of the lightweight title picture at present.
“I’m not that type of guy. We tried to make the fight with Khabib and the UFC told us they had other plans.
“Khabib wanted the fight, I wanted the fight, but unfortunately, it did not happen. That’s the reason why I retired,” he continued. “And for me, it’s a lot more to lose than to win now. And the most important thing for me is my health. And I’m no longer – right now as I’m talking – pursuing my goal, which back in the day was to be the best fighter in the world.
“I was for many years, and it’s not my number one priority anymore.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena