As rumors continue about the next possible matchup for lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, RT reports that Nurmagomedov knows exactly who he wants to face next in the octagon. It’s none other than long-time UFC legend Georges St-Pierre.
At 37, GSP is obviously at the tail end of a long career in mixed martial arts, including three UFC championships at welterweight and a return from retirement. Nurmagomedov competes at lightweight, with the presumption being that St-Pierre would cut weight to meet Nurmagomedov at the lighter weight class.
“He has one or two fights left…Georges St-Pierre is the greatest fighter ever to step in the octagon. That’s my opinion,” Nurmagomedov said in an interview with Match TV. “I think he can drop to my weight. It would be interesting to fight him.”
GSP would have some time to prepare, as Nurmagomedov will not be ready to return to this octagon until November. He is currently serving a nine-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the melee that followed his win over former lightweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in Las Vegas in October. He was also fined $500,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his part in that brawl.
Despite being technically eligible to fight again as soon as July, Nurmagomedov has vowed to stay out of competition until his cousin, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, and teammate, Zubaira Tukhugov, have themselves finished out their own suspensions stemming from the incident. Their suspensions continue until October 6.
According to the interview, Nurmagomedov would like to face GSP in November in New York City at Madison Square Garden, and iconic venue that the Russian fighter enjoys and respects.
“He’s done with Vegas for giving his brothers such harsh punishment [after UFC 229],” said Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, in a different recent interview. “He loves [Madison Square Garden]. Lots of his fans live around there, and New York has always been good to him. He misses fighting in New York.”
St-Pierre has also spoken on the topic of a fight with Nurmagomedov.
“It’s been a few months that my agents are in communication with the UFC to try to make a fight happen,” he said at an appearance in his home country of Canada. “I know Khabib wanted to fight me and I wanted to fight him.”
St-Pierre is widely considered to be the most accomplished fighter in MMA history and retired as reigning welterweight champion in 2013, a title he defended nine consecutive times. He returned to the sport in 2017 to defeat Michael Bisping to capture the middleweight title, becoming only the fourth fighter in UFC history to earn championships in multiple divisions.