Many were surprised by Georges St-Pierre's decision to permanently leave the world of mixed martial arts. The former UFC two-division champion may already be 38, but there's no doubt that he still has lots of gas left in his tank. One of the major reasons behind his decision to retire is his failure to convince the UFC to let him fight reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Last August, Georges St-Pierre revealed his plan to fight in the lightweight division and face Khabib Nurmagomedov in the octagon. St-Pierre believes that beating the undefeated Russian champion would not only provide a huge payday, but it would also help him cement his status as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. Unfortunately, the UFC, specifically Dana White, doesn't seem to have any interest in making the St-Pierre-Nurmagomedov fight happen.
In an interview with TSN, UFC President Dana White discussed his decision to reject Georges St-Pierre's proposal to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title. White revealed that St-Pierre's inability to fulfill his past promise played a major role in his decision not to let him face Nurmagomedov in the octagon.
"Well, there's two things — first of all, who doesn't love Georges St-Pierre? Love Georges St-Pierre, the best ever as far as human beings, great guy, love him. Georges St-Pierre and I had a deal, he was going to fight [Michael] Bisping at 185 pounds and if he won, he would defend the title. He bailed on that. Didn't do it," White said, as quoted by MMA Fighting.
UFC President Dana White was talking about Georges St-Pierre previous bout against former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. When White allowed him to challenge Bisping, St-Pierre gave assurance that he would be defending the UFC middleweight belt if he won the fight. Unfortunately, more than a month after beating Bisping, St-Pierre vacated the UFC middleweight title after suffering from ulcerative colitis.To prevent the same thing from happening in the UFC lightweight division, UFC President Dana White believes that it will be best to turn down Georges St-Pierre's request. However, things could change if Nurmagomedov is the one who urges the UFC to make the fight happen. If Nurmagomedov pushes to fight St-Pierre, White revealed that they may at least give it consideration.
"I guess if I get into a position where Khabib the champ wants it bad enough, we're going to have to talk about it but at the end of the day it doesn't make sense to me," White said.
As of now, Khabib Nurmagomedov is focused on his upcoming fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242. If he succeeds in defending the UFC lightweight title, Nurmagomedov is expected to face either Tony Ferguson or Conor McGregor next.