Was the UFC worried that Georges St-Pierre would beat Khabib?

April 16, 2020

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Was the UFC worried that Georges St-Pierre would beat Khabib?



In 2019, Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov were trying to lock down a fight against each other. Despite their best efforts, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) opted to ignore their campaigns. As a result, Khabib went on to face (and defeat) Dustin Poirier at UFC 242, while “GSP” continued to live his best life in retirement.

According to Dana White, he never thought about giving St-Pierre a shot at Khabib’s 155-pound title after “Rush” left him high and dry after defeating Michael Bisping for the Middleweight title at UFC 217. According to St-Pierre, it didn’t have to be a title fight, he just wanted to test himself against the best Lightweight in the world.

“I know Khabib wanted to have that fight, I want it, but the thing is, if you look from the UFC’s side, I think it’s normal if I put myself in their shoes,” St-Pierre told ESPN (via MMA Junkie).

“They didn’t want to take the risk of me winning the title and then after vacating again. I didn’t even want it for the title, I would rather do it not for a title. For me, it was because I considered Khabib, right now, the best fighter in the world, and he wanted to fight me as well so I thought it was a good fan fight.”

Another reason “Rush” feels UFC wasn’t in a hurry to give him Khabib was because the promotion truly felt he was a big threat to “The Eagle,” and taking the chance to ruin its investment wasn’t worth it.

“They had other plans for Khabib and I understand that,” St-Pierre said. “They had a lot to lose and if they invest into that fight and their investment goes out after, it’s not a good move.

“In a way, I could take that as a compliment because maybe they saw me as a threat for them,” he continued. “That means maybe they thought I could win the fight. If they let me fight him, it’s because they think I would have lost. So that’s why.”

While a fight between the two would do big numbers at the box office, it seems it will now forever be just a fantasy fight that will likely never see the light of day. For now, Nurmagomedov is eyeing a return to action in September, which will likely see him take on the winner of Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje in a 155-pound title unification bout.

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