A potential super-fight between former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has long been one of the most discussed dream matchups in MMA history.
The fight almost came to fruition in 2020 when Khabib Nurmagomedov still held the UFC lightweight title and Georges St-Pierre was rumored to be coming out of retirement to fight Nurmagomedov.
However, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from MMA after his UFC 254 win over Justin Gaethje in October 2020. Khabib’s father and mentor, legendary combat sports coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, passed away in July 2020 after a battle with COVID-19.
Khabib revealed that he’d promised his mother that he won’t continue his MMA career without his father by his side. Resultantly, Khabib retired from the sport after competing in his final MMA fight in October 2020.
During an appearance on the UFC 261 Weigh-In Show, GSP shed light upon multiple topics. On the dream matchup between him and Khabib Nurmagomedov not materializing, Georges St-Pierre stated –
“I’m gonna tell you the truth. I was doing the French commentary when Khabib fought Justin Gaethje. And I didn’t know. Like, I was like everybody else…Like, man, is he (going to call me out)? Because they had big rumors going on that he was going to call me out. And I didn’t know if it was true. And I was like, ‘Man, what am I gonna do? Am I gonna come back for this one?’”
“And when he retired, I guess I, ‘Ah’,” Georges St-Pierre said, heaving a sigh of relief. GSP added, “You know like, there is this line – I think it’s in Godfather – of Al Pacino. He says, ‘When I thought I was done, they brought me right back in’. You know what I mean. So, that’s how I felt. But now I’m glad everything is done, and, you know what I mean. It’s all good, you know.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Georges St-Pierre suggested that he wasn’t sure about ending his retirement and returning to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov. GSP indicated that this is why he was somewhat relieved when Nurmagomedov didn’t call him out after the latter’s win at UFC 254.
Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov are regarded as true MMA legends
Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov are heralded amongst the greatest to ever compete in the sport of MMA. St-Pierre’s last fight was a third-round submission win over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 (November 2017). The fight witnessed GSP win the UFC middleweight title, which he eventually vacated.
GSP hasn’t competed in the sport of MMA ever since. Nevertheless, he has gone on to carve a successful career in the entertainment industry, in Hollywood, to be specific.
On the other hand, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s last fight was a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 (October 2020). Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from MMA after the fight. In March 2021, The Eagle and the UFC came to terms with his retirement from the sport.
The vacant UFC lightweight title is now at stake at UFC 262 in a fight between top-tier lightweights Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. UFC 262 will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on May 15th, 2021.