Robert Whittaker asserted that the problem with the Nurmagomedov vs. St-Pierre fight is that one of the two MMA legends would lose and resultantly tarnish their legacy.
St-Pierre last competed in November of 2017, securing a third-round submission victory over then-UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping and thereby winning the UFC middleweight title.
The 39-year-old, who had won both the UFC welterweight and middleweight championships during his long and storied career, retired from the sport of MMA in the days that followed after his aforementioned fight against Bisping.
Khabib has a legacy of his own to protect. He last competed in October of this year, successfully defending his UFC lightweight title by defeating Justin Gaethje via second-round submission.
In the post-fight interview that was conducted inside the Octagon, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from MMA.
Robert Whittaker feels Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov don’t need to fight one another
The MMA world witnessed Khabib Nurmagomedov’s meteoric rise to the top of the sport’s pound-for-pound rankings over the past few years. That, in turn, led many fans and experts to call for a super-fight between Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre.
GSP, on his part, has often suggested that he’d be open to move down to the lightweight division and fight his Russian counterpart for the UFC lightweight championship. Should St-Pierre manage to beat The Eagle and win the lightweight title, he would earn the distinction of winning UFC titles in three separate weight classes.
However, in the aftermath of Nurmagomedov’s retirement, neither St-Pierre nor the former have been lobbying for the opportunity to face one another in an MMA bout.
Addressing the problem with a potential matchup between Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov, Robert Whittaker stated:
“Oh, well, the problem with that is one of the two greatest, most iconic role models of the sport is gonna get their legacy tarnished a little bit. And I don’t think it’s needed. Neither guy needs the money. Maybe they can fight quietly behind closed doors.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Whittaker last competed at UFC 254 in October of this year, the very same event that was headlined by the Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje fight.
Facing off against middleweight KO artist Jared Cannonier in a number-one contender’s fight, the 29-year-old outworked his foe to secure a unanimous decision victory. Whittaker is now likely to fight for the UFC middleweight championship next year.
The middleweight belt is currently held by Israel Adesanya who is said to be moving up to the light heavyweight division to challenge that division’s champion, Jan Blachowicz.
Robert Whittaker lost his UFC middleweight title to Adesanya last year and has time and again noted that he intends to beat the latter in the rematch.
Would you like to see Whittaker fight for the UFC middleweight title? What are your views on his statements regarding Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre? Sound off in the comments.Published 13 Nov 2020, 02:03 IST