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'I won't fight at 170lb' - Khabib Nurmagomedov pours cold water on dream fight against Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov
Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 01 Mar 2021
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Khabib Nurmagomedov has affirmed that he is not open to returning from retirement to compete as a welterweight against Georges St-Pierre.

The unbeaten UFC lightweight champion announced he would be hanging up his fighting gloves on October 2020 after adding one more victory to his perfect MMA record of 29-0 by defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

UFC president Dana White tried to convince Khabib to resume his career by offering a fight against 40-year-old St-Pierre, a personal idol of the Russian. However, St-Pierre has only competed as a welterweight and a middleweight during his professional years.

Khabib told RT Sport that he would not consider gaining weight to fight "the greatest welterweight mixed martial artist ever":

"I won't fight at 170 lb. That's for sure. It is not my natural weight," said Khabib, according to an RT Sport translation. "When I am in shape, my weight is around 180 lb. To cut it down to 170 lb and weigh in around 176 lb on fight night against the best fighter of the weight class in the history of the sport? You know, it reminds me of my childhood, when you are fighting a karate guy, taking him down and he is like, 'hey, let's stand up and fight like men!' [And I would say]: 'but we started the fight on foot!" Do you know what I am talking about?"

However, Khabib did not rule out the possibility of fighting again as a lightweight:

"I am a lightweight champion, and if there's an interesting option for me, I would like it to materialize at lightweight," considered Khabib. "So, I am not fighting Georges St-Pierre at 170 lb, no."

St-Pierre was the longest-reigning UFC welterweight champion in the promotion's history. He defended the 170 lb belt for nine straight fights before retiring in 2013. The Canadian then resumed his career to compete in another bout in 2017, where he defeated Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title.

Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager dismisses fight with Georges St-Pierre

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Ali Abdelaziz confirmed that Khabib Nurmagomedov would not fight Georges St-Pierre. The manager dismissed strong rumors suggesting that his client would be returning from retirement to fight the legendary UFC welterweight, calling it "fake news."

"Khabib versus Georges St-Pierre: the rumor [is] completely false. Fake news," wrote Abdelaziz on Twitter.

The report on Khabib's return came from former UFC lightweight and featherweight title challenger Kenny Florian. The information was revealed during an "Anik and Florian" podcast episode where he claimed a "well-known coach" had told him about the super-fight.

Published 14 Feb 2021, 02:13 IST
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