GSP talks about Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement; Says he anticipated a call-out from the Undisputed Lightweight champion at UFC 254.
In the run-up to the October 2020 marquee show UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov did convey via social media medium that he desires to face Georges ST-Pierre in 2021. His intention was heard worldwide and the speculations about a potential matchup between Khabib and perhaps the biggest name in the sport, GSP surfaced.
However, after successfully defending the UFC Lightweight title at UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov took everyone by surprise. The Eagle announced his retirement and vowed to not return to the Octagon ever.
GSP, who was busy with his commentary duties for the event, anticipated a call-out from Nurmagomedov post-match but, he was also taken aback by Khabib’s instant decision.
‘Never said I wanted to do it’
While he expected to hear his name out loud but, GSP makes it known that he would have still given a lengthy thought and had put some conditions forward before proceeding with the talks to fight Khabib.
“It doesn’t mean I would have accepted,” St-Pierre said. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, when is it going to happen?’ I never said I wanted to do it. It depends (on) the conditions too. I could think about it seriously if the conditions are right in terms of the weight class and all that, but there’s no way I’m gonna go down to 155 now. I’m 39 years old and this is out of the window…
“We’re both about the same size. I’m not gonna lie. I wake up in the morning and I’m about 183 pounds. I’m sure he’s about the same weight as me if not probably bigger. So I think the weight class, it’s like a novelty fight. A superlfight — you need to stipulate the rule maybe no weight class or maybe (that) you cannot be more than three percent different in terms of weight. I don’t know but there’s ways to do it. You don’t have to cut weight and damage yourself to do something like that.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov Vs. GSP: Stars May Align In A Hypothetical World
With Khabib now gone and GSP in no mood to fight anyone other than Khabib, the fight’s status has turned from potential to if. So, in a perfect world if the match would have materialized, what would have happened? GSP expresses how he would have approached Khabib Nurmagomedov in the ring.
“If in a hypothetical world this fight would happen, I think I would need to use all my tools,” St-Pierre explained. “I’m good at what I do and it’s not because I’m fighting Khabib that I’m gonna change my way of fighting. The way I fight, that’s how I’ve been successful all of my career. I think the mistake that a lot of guys are doing when they fight Khabib is that they change the way they’re fighting because Khabib is very known to be probably the best wrestler in the sport. (But) I’m good with the takedown, to mix it up.
“It’s not because I’m fighting Khabib that I’m not gonna mix it up with him. If I have a chance to put him down, I’m gonna try to put him down. I believe in my chance to put him down and I’m confident in myself. I think confidence is a very important piece of the puzzle in MMA to be successful. And I believe a lot of guys when they fight a legend fighter status, part of that confidence and their skill goes out the window. That’s one of the mistakes I would not do because I know Khabib would not do it against myself.”
Though, the 39-year-old has communicated in the past that Khabib is the only fighter who can compel him to come back but, in contradiction to that he says that an “I cannot refuse” offer can still make him ponder over an in-ring return.
“If the UFC would want me back, it’s not me that would try to go and beg for a fight. ‘Hey please, can I come back?’ They’re gonna lowball the sh*t out of me!” St-Pierre said. “It would be the most stupid thing I could do. If they have an offer to make to me, an offer I cannot refuse, Dana knows where to reach me.
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