Retired UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre recently opened up about his future plans, revealing that there is an “incredibly low” chance of him returning to the octagon to face lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“It takes three parties to make a fight,” St-Pierre told BT Sport, as quoted by ESPN on Thursday night. “It takes one opponent, one opponent and the organization itself. I don’t know if the organization would want that.”
As noted, Nurmagomedov had most recently brought up the idea of a possible fight with St-Pierre at a news conference last week for the new promotion MMA Global. St-Pierre, likewise, had previously expressed a desire to face the undefeated lightweight, only for UFC president Dana White to comment in July 2019 that he wasn’t too interested in holding the dream bout.
With more than a year passed since White made those remarks, St-Pierre suggested that the UFC is reluctant to book a fight between him and Nurmagomedov because the company doesn’t want him to become a champion in three weight classes. He also stated that at this point, it might be very difficult for him to cut weight in order to compete at 155 pounds. The 39-year-old had mostly fought at around 170 pounds and had moved up to 185 pounds when he closed his MMA career with a middleweight title victory over Michael Bisping in 2017.
“I run away with the welterweight, I run away with the middleweight. They surely don’t want me to run with the lightweight.”
As for White, ESPN wrote that he seemed to have “warmed up a bit more” to the idea of a St-Pierre vs. Nurmagomedov bout in recent months. The outlet added that this became especially true following the death of the Russian fighter’s father, Abdulmanap, in July, as the elder Nurmagomedov had long wanted to see his son compete against the Canadian legend in the octagon.
“This guy’s been great to the company, great to the sport. I like Khabib a lot,” White told ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto last month. “I would do anything Khabib wanted to do.”
In his interview with BT Sport, St-Pierre referred to Nurmagomedov as the “best fighter on the face of the earth” and acknowledged that he has been “tempted” to come out of retirement following call-outs from the likes of welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. He added that he remains in good shape and is still training as if he was in his prime. However, he stressed that it’s important for one to retire while on top, as he officially did in February 2019, because fighters are “always the last” to realize that they should call it a career.