Of course, Dana is free to choose whoever he wants but the absence of a certain Georges St-Pierre did catch the eye. It caught the eye of John McCarthy as well on the "Weighing in" podcast where he talked about how GSP deserves to be there and his absence has got more to do with his relations with Dana White than anything else.
GSP, in the eyes of many, is considered the GOAT of MMA. He beat everyone he ever fought(he avenged his losses against Matt Hughes and Matt Serra), is second in the list of most title defenses, he won the title in two different divisions and throughout his career was never caught up in any controversy when it came to PEDs(performance-enhancing drugs) or any other banned substances. To top it all he's an amazing and humble human being who brought MMA to Canada and throughout his career and even now is an inspiration for many.
What went wrong between Dana White and Georges St-Pierre?
Weirdly though, despite achieving so much and having an unblemished career in MMA, GSP's relationship with Dana White has been rocky and it can be attributed to two specific points in GSP's career.
The first took place in UFC 167 when Georges St-Pierre decided to walk away from the sport after a split decision victory over Johnny Hendricks. The retirement was abrupt at the time and did leave Dana fuming as GSP, who was one of UFC's biggest draws would vacate the title and retire without any prior notice.
The second incident which has probably caused irreparable damage was at UFC 217 where Georges St-Pierre moved to middleweight, choked out Michael Bisping, became a two-division champion, and decided to vacate the title once again despite having signed a four-fight deal with UFC. This was the second time GSP had left a division in the lurch without a Champion. Later it was revealed that GSP was suffering from "Ulcerative Colitis" that prompted him to leave but it seems that the damage had already been done in his relationship with Dana White.
In many ways this was the reason why when Dana was approached with the idea of a Superfight between Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated, undisputed Lightweight Champion and Georges St-Pierre, it got rejected. Khabib has always expressed the desire to fight against Georges St-Pierre who he considers to be the greatest of all time and even GSP was interested in the prospect of fighting Khabib, becoming the first man to beat him and in the process becoming a 3-Divison Champion.
The idea was shot down because of the possibility of Georges St-Pierre doing what he has done twice already. Win the title, vacate the belt and leave the whole division in a complete mess. With Georges St-Pierre now already 39, it looks less and less likely that he would be thinking of stepping into the cage again and hearing Dana White's Mount Rushmore it became all the more apparent that the dream fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre is never going to happen.Published 23 Jun 2020, 19:06 IST