- Khabib Nurmagomedov stepped away from MMA in October of 2020.
- He only seems interested in returning to compete against George St. Pierre.
- New reports indicate Khabib vs. St. Pierre is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
For years, fans and members of the MMA media have been discussing a matchup between Khabib Nurmagomedov and George St. Pierre. It’s a true super-fight and one that seemed close to coming together on several occasions. Unfortunately, it now appears that the Khabib vs. St. Pierre fight is unlikely to ever take place.
Both these men seemed to be retired from MMA. Today, we’ll discuss why fans no longer expect a fight between them to happen. We’ll also look at what this means for the lightweight division moving forward.
Let’s get into it!
Khabib Nurmagomedov Gives Opinion on Fellow Fighters
There has never been a fighter in MMA like Khabib Nurmagomedov. He burst onto the scene as a relatively unknown commodity back in 2012 and quickly established himself as an exciting young prospect to keep an eye on. Over the next few years, he recorded wins over several elite fighters including Pat Healy and Rafael Dos Anjos.
Finally, in April of 2018, Khabib received a shot at the lightweight championship of the world. He took this fight against Al Iaquinta on short notice and entered as the massive favorite according to all online sports betting sites. That proved correct as he dominated Iaquinta for five-straight rounds.
He then defended his title three times against some of the best fighters in lightweight history. After his most recent bout in October of 2019, Khabib announced his retirement from the sport of MMA. He has continued to stay in the spotlight, however, and regularly does interviews with major media outlets.
This week, Khabib gave his opinion on several of his fellow fighters. That includes George St. Pierre, a man he has openly pushed to fight against for years.
“When you say Georges St-Pierre, that name really motivates me,” Khabib said. “GSP really makes me excited and so on but it’s all over, brother. He’s 40 years old. Let’s just leave it. For sure we like him as a human being. He is the legend. He is the decent representation of mixed martial arts. Let it be like this, there’s GSP and Khabib.”
Some fans were left disappointed with these new statements. It’s not a huge surprise, though. Does this mean that the Khabib vs. St. Pierre fight is completely dead now?
Here’s What Could Lead to the Khabib vs. St. Pierre Fight
There are many that doubt Khabib Nurmagomedov is really retired. He is still young and is still considered the greatest lightweight fighter currently alive. If he chose to continue fighting, he has some massive matchups on the horizon.
The biggest and most obvious one is the Khabib vs. St. Pierre fight. GSP had one of the best championship runs in MMA history throughout the 2010s. He then returned in 2017 and earned a submission victory over Micheal Bisping to claim the middleweight championship.
Khabib is indicating that George is now past his fighting prime. There may be some truth to that, as “Rush” is now 39 years old. He continues to train on a regular basis, though, and seems to be in the same shape he was during his fighting prime.
George himself seems open to a fight with Khabib if the money is right. The UFC may recognize that GSP is the only man Khabib wants to fight and could end up paying the money to get this fight booked. That’s especially true after Conor McGregor lost his recent fight against Dustin Poirier in January.
For now, Khabib Nurmagomedov seems content to wait and see how things shakeup in the lightweight division. There are several new possible opponents he could face at 155 pounds including Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. One of those men will likely be competing for the lightweight title this summer.
There is one other man that fans are interested in seeing Khabib face. That is the current welterweight king, Kamaru Usman.
Is Nurmagomedov vs. Usman a Fight We Could See in 2021?
There are a huge number of truly elite fighters competing inside the UFC right now. Each of the promotion’s champions could find themselves at the top of the pound-for-pound list in the near future. That includes Kamaru Usman, the current welterweight champion.
Some fans are now pushing to see Khabib and Usman fight this year. It’s perhaps one of the only fights that Khabib would enter as the underdog on. Usman is bigger and has many of the skills needed to give Nurmagomedov trouble.
This bout isn’t out of the question. Khabib Nurmagomedov was willing to fight a bigger man against George St. Pierre. It seems reasonable to assume that he could be willing to compete against Usman, too.
A fight between these two may not happen anytime soon. Kamaru Usman is expected to fight against Jorge Masvidal sometime this summer. There are even rumors that these men will be coaching on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
There is still a chance that Khabib ends up fighting Usman sometime around the end of the year. October seems to be a date that works out for the lightweight king. We’ll be sure to offer more updates on this possible fight over the next few months!
Do you want to see Khabib vs. St. Pierre? Who do you think would win? Let us know in the comments section below!