Former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre believes current lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov has “an aura of invincibility” and if St-Pierre defeated him, he would be in “history forever.” The man known as “GSP” last fought in 2017 when he captured middleweight gold by defeating then-champ Michael Bisping at UFC 217.
GSP announced his retirement a few months after UFC 217, and he vacated the middleweight strap. St-Pierre, 39, spoke with the audio documentary podcast MMA TruFan last month about a potential fight with Khabib. GSP had long campaigned for a fight against the lightweight champion — a win over Khabib wouldn’t just mean defeating a 28-0 fighter and one of the greatest fighters of all time, it also means earning a third UFC championship in a different weight class.
St-Pierre told MMA TruFan that his agent made several attempts to book a match with The Eagle. However, St-Pierre told the outlet that he was turned down.
Khabib has not fought inside the Octagon since September 2019 when he defended his title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242. He is set to face interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje next, and a fight with 39-year-old St-Pierre is highly unlikely to happen at this point.
GSP told MMA True Fan: “Khabib was very exciting for me because, for a fighter, a fighter doesn’t think like a normal person.”
A fighter always wants to fight a guy who seems invincible, a guy who seems like the perfect fighter, who is unbeatable. He has an aura of invincibility. So, that means if I do it, I’ll be the first to have ever done it. It’s not a question of money. Yeah, the money is there but it’s not a question of money first. It’s a question of glory, of self-accomplishment, of making it in a way that you’ll be in history forever, you know what I mean? For myself.
Update, July 23: In an exclusive interview with TMZ Sports, GSP confirmed that he was planning to stay retired. He said, “Sometimes I’m watching the fights and I’m like, ‘Man I think I can beat these guys’ or after when I’m done training I feel like I’m very confident.”
He continued, “But, after I go home at night and I’m thinking about all that crazy thoughts and I’m like ‘I’m gonna be 40 years old soon, do I really wanna go back and do a hardcore training camp of 2 months? Put myself in jail so to speak and get ready for hell?’ I’m like, no I don’t.”
The former welterweight and middleweight champion said that too many fighters retire late, and at nearly 40 years old, GSP doesn’t want to be “one of these guys.”
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UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman Recently Spoke About Wanting to Fight GSP
Khabib may not be stepping inside the Octagon with GSP, however, another active champion would like the opportunity. UFC welterweight champ Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman and GSP are currently tied for the record of most consecutive wins in the UFC welterweight division, 12.
Usman recently spoke with TMZ Sports and he expressed his interest in the 39-year-old. The interview can be watched above. The Nigerian Nightmare said:
Georges is a legend. Georges is a guy who has put his time in and is considered one of the best and that’s where I aim to be. Georges can still do it. He proved it, what, two years ago when he came back, that he can still do it. And I feel that he’s still able to do it. He’s still able to come in and be that opponent where people are unsure. Like, “You know what? We don’t know if Usman’s got this one.” I think Georges St-Pierre can be that guy and that’s what I’m looking for.
Usman said that he didn’t know how a fight with GSP would go, but he would “damn well go out there and compete and see what happens.”
When he spoke with TMZ, GSP praised Usman but confirmed that he was staying in retirement.