The reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) is scheduled to face an interim titleholder Justin Gaethje (22-2) in the championship unification on October 24. If successful, “The Eagle” would update his untouched record to 29 victories and might be looking for a final fight against MMA legend Georges St-Pierre, who is currently retired.
In an interview with ESPN earlier this week, UFC President Dana White appeared open for an idea of making a blockbuster matchup happen. In addition, Nurmagomedov has recently stated “October – Justin and April – GSP” in a comment to Joe Rogan’s post on Instagram.
ESPN MMA reporter Ariel Helwani recently appeared on The Jim Rome Show, revealing the first reaction of Georges St-Pierre, when he heard the news about a potential fight against Nurmagomedov.
“So this was so interesting,” Helwani said (transcribed by FIGHTMAG). “I’ve sent him the quote from Dana White talking to ESPN and saying like ‘Hey, I would be finally interested in doing this if this is what Khabib wants, especially for his retirement fight’, and I sent it to him, and he calls me right away. He had no idea. He had not seen it yet.”
“It was fascinating to listen to him talk, cause kept saying ‘Damn’, he kept saying it in French, I speak French, I am from Quebec as well. So he kept talking French, and he was like ‘Damn, damn, damn. Just when I thought I was done, they pulled me back in.'”
“I think mentally, he had come to terms for the fact that they were not gonna give him this fight, they were not gonna book it, it would never materialized, and he had moved on with his life. And now he sees this and he is like ‘Oh My God’.”
“Then I heard ‘the wheels turning’, and it was fascinating to just be a part of that. He was like ‘Okay, I have to call my coach, I have to do this, my weight is good’.”
“And I was like ‘Georges, you know the fight is not happening anytime soon. They haven’t offered you the fight’.”
“But I could just see the competitor in him starting to switch right away.”
“Then he started talking about how he feels he could be the one, and what weight it would be at, and what he’s training would be, and how he’s in a great shape.”
“And it left me with the impression if this fight did materialize, if they booked it, if they tried to book it, it would not be that hard of a negotiation.”
Widely considered as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, Georges St-Pierre is officially retired with the record of 26-2. Over the course of his career, the 2020 UFC Hall of Fame inductee held UFC welterweight and middleweight titles, including 13 championship wins.
“He doesn’t want to be champion, he doesn’t care about the lightweight title,” Helwani said, He’s been there, he’s done that. He just wants to be the one guy, who can beat Khabib.”
“He wants to have that ‘L’ on his own record in terms of Khabib, being the only loss of his career would be to GSP. He really likes that. He likes the idea of that. It is the only challenge out there in his opinion in MMA.”
“And that would be his final fight. Let’s see. Khabib said a couple of days ago ‘Gaethje in October, Georges in April’. For the first time in a while it actually feels like this super fight has some likes to it.”