After successfully beating Michael Bisping at UFC 217, Georges St-Pierre went on an indefinite hiatus and vacated the UFC middleweight belt. Since then, most mixed martial arts fans and analysts have been waiting for his return. Unfortunately, his fight with Bisping was revealed to be the last time St-Pierre would fight in the Octagon after the former UFC middleweight champion recently announced his official retirement.
Before he made the emotional decision, Georges St-Pierre tried to convince the UFC to book a superfight between him and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unfortunately, the UFC has no interest in letting what St-Pierre called a “legacy fight” happen. In an interview with Ariel Helwani of ESPN, transcribed by Bloody Elbow, St-Pierre gave an interesting opinion why the UFC didn’t allow him to fight the undefeated Russian champion.
“I’m not a specialist in business, but it’s unwilling risk they won’t take,” St-Pierre said. “I’m older, it could’ve been my last fight. I take it one fight at a time, and I’m not interested in taking a fight with a guarantee that if I win, I have to do something else. I’m not at that place in my career, in my life right now. He’s younger. He’s an investment. I’m the past, he’s the present. He’s the main guy that can help the UFC rise and reach different part of the world, in terms of popularity. They’re very aware of it.”
— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) February 22, 2019
Even before the UFC 229 fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, Georges St-Pierre had been expressing strong interest in moving down to the lightweight division and fight for the title. St-Pierre believed that fighting Nurmagomedov or McGregor would not only be good for his legacy, but it would also enable him to earn a huge amount of money. However, since then, UFC President Dana White has said in numerous occasions that they won’t let St-Pierre fight at 155 pounds.
In Georges St-Pierre’s final attempt to convince the UFC, Khabib Nurmagomedov responded in an Instagram post, saying that he’s ready to fight the former UFC middleweight champion in November. Nurmagomedov was even willing to give St-Pierre a weight advantage or face him at 160 pounds. However, both St-Pierre and Nurmagomedov knew that the UFC still had the final say regarding the fight.
When he realized that he couldn’t persuade the UFC to grant his request, Georges St-Pierre decided that it was time for him to permanently end his MMA career. Despite what happened, St-Pierre made it clear that he doesn’t hold any grudge against the UFC. St-Pierre said that he fully understands the main reason behind the UFC’s refusal to book the fight, adding that the promotion has other plans for Nurmagomedov.