St-Pierre last fought in 2017 when he returned to the Octagon after four years away. The longtime 170-pound king moved up to 185 pounds and challenged then-middleweight champion Michael Bisping for the belt. And during the third round of their UFC 217, “GSP” caught Bisping on the feet and finished the contest by securing a rear-naked choke, earning himself a second divisional title in the promotion.
The Canadian wouldn’t compete again, however. He vacated the belt around a month later after revealing he was suffering from ulcerative colitis. And although he would end up making a full recovery, he announced his retirement from the sport in 2019.
The UFC Hall of Famer recently spoke with Helen Yee and during the interview, GSP named his two fellow champions as opponents he wished he had battled in his prime.
“I always wanted to be known as the best and be the best, and there are two fights that never materialized that could have been made – but for certain reasons did not materialize,” St-Pierre said (h/t MMA Junkie). “The first one was against Anderson Silva, and the other one was against Khabib, but for certain reasons it did not happen.”
St-Pierre continued, pointing to a mixture of fight demands and promoter wishes as being reasons why the fights never came to fruition.
“When you’re a fighter, you need the two fighters and the promoter to make a fight happen,” GSP continued. “Even if the two fighters want, but the promoter doesn’t make it happen, it’s not going to happen. Each fighter brings their terms that they want, then they negotiate, and then it’s up to the promoter to make that happen. It did not happen for these two guys.”
A fight between St-Pierre and Silva was long viewed as the sport’s ultimate superfight. For years, both men ruled their respective divisions and considering Silva was at middleweight, a weight class above GSP, a contest between them was plausible.
A fight never materialized, however. GSP and Nurmagomedov had also expressed interest in fighting each other, but with “The Eagle” ending his MMA career in 2020, the potential fight was stopped in its tracks.
GSP Is Open to the Idea of Potentially Grappling Nurmagomedov, But Is ‘Good Where I Am’
GSP didn’t close the door on a potential grappling match with Nurmagomedov, but in no way did he commit to pursuing the contest.
“Maybe one day I will do a grappling match, and if it’s for a good cause and it’s well organized, you never know,” St-Pierre said. “Every time I say something like this, people get excited and rumors start. But the truth is that we’re retired, and I’m good where I am, and I’m sure he’s good where he is. And if these fights did not happen, it’s because my side – we had requests, we had conditions and terms that if they would accept the terms, we would be ready to step in and make the fight. But they didn’t reach those terms.
“Fights are made also because of the fans, because of the two guys, the promoter – but also, timing has a lot to do with it. … Anderson Silva and I, and Khabib and I, it’s always a question of timing. If you make this fight today, it’s not going to be the same because we lost the timing.”