Over the past few years, UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has made it clear that he wants to face former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre. Both styles could create a unique clash that would bring in a lot of fans. How does UFC President Dana White feel about this?
Speaking with ESPN, White discussed the future of Khabib (28-0). The UFC Lightweight Champion is currently set to face off against interim champion Justin Gaethje on October 24 at UFC 254. After that, he has one more fight under his current contract. Manager Ali Abdelaziz said Khabib would most likely retire at 30-0. White would let Khabib face anyone he wanted at this point.
“At the end of the day, the Conor McGregor [rematch], I know Conor has wanted that fight since the last one [in October 2018],” White said. “That’s a fight to make, but I don’t know. We’ll see how this plays out. Sure, [I would be open to St-Pierre] if it’s his last fight. This guy’s been great to the company, great to the sport. I like Khabib a lot. I would do anything Khabib wanted to do.”
Nurmagomedov last fight in September 2019, beating Dustin Poirier to unify the UFC Lightweight Title. Before that, he faced Conor McGregor at UFC 242 and was suspended following a brawl with McGregor and his team. Original plans had Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson facing off at the original UFC 249 in Brooklyn back in April. Due to the coronavirus, Nurmagomedov ended up returning to Russia to quarantine.
The request to retire 30-0 comes from Khabib’s father. Khabib’s status has been questioned recently due to his father Abdulmanap dying as a result of complications from COVID-19. He attempted to tease a future fight with St-Pierre thanks to Joe Rogan’s latest Instagram post hyping the bout with him and Gaethje.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 29, 2020
St-Pierre (26-2), the latest inductee to join the UFC Hall of Fame, made his UFC debut in 2004. Right away, he earned a shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship, losing to Matt Hughes. Following the loss, St-Pierre went on a six-fight win streak, and in a rematch, he avenged his loss, taking out Hughes to win the title.
Losing the title to Matt Serra in round one of their fight in 2007, St-Pierre won it back in Montreal. He then defended the title nine times before retiring in 2013. He didn’t return until 2017 when he challenged Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight Title. Inside Madison Square Garden at UFC 217, St-Pierre pulled off the ultimate upset, submitting Bisping to become a two-division champion.
GSP previously mentioned that he would come out of retirement to face Khabib. He has also discussed the pros and cons of fighting as a result of UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman calling him out. Looking to stay smart, St-Pierre is keeping an eye on all of his options.