There was a transient period exactly where Georges St. Pierre vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov was the most talked about super fight in the sport. When Nurmagomedov unexpectedly retired just after dispatching Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, he did so at the absolute prime of the match. Undefeated, numerous title defenses, pound-for-pound king — Nurmagomedov left a key void when he stepped down.
Just after his retirement, talks of “GSP” vs. Khabib actually heated up. Even with numerous road blocks — like retirement and a fat class hole, for example — it appeared like the only possible match up that could attract equally guys into the cage. The likely match up really delayed the Lightweight title from transferring ahead for a minor while, as UFC President Dana White was loathe to take that Nurmagomedov was definitely done.
Now that the dust has settled, St. Pierre sat down with Patrick Bet-David and talked about his side of the negotiations. In the Canadian’s see, it was all component of a bizarre “chess game” with the promoter.
“What transpired now — simply because Khabib is retired and I’m retired — so now, the UFC… Dana called me and he’s like, ‘Oh, now would you be fascinated to battle Khabib?’ He questioned me. He referred to as me,” St. Pierre defined (through BloodyElbow). “But I thought it was peculiar for the reason that I by no means preferred to do it. And now, mainly because he referred to as me for that rationale, I was like… I didn’t want to do it, but I told Dana, just to see what occurs due to the fact I was curious. You know it is generally a chess recreation when the promoter phone calls you.
“I didn’t say no, I reported, ‘OK. Enable me consider about it.’ The way Dana talked to me, it was like Khabib by now approved. But it wasn’t accurate. It was just fishing to make the combat take place. They knew now that we ended up both retired, so now, for them, it was an option to make a major-money struggle.”
Regardless of the possible cash to be designed for every person involved, the match didn’t occur to fruition. Nurmagomedov had already confirmed his retirement numerous occasions, in spite of how it arrived across in White’s telephone phone with St. Pierre. In the course of action, St. Pierre believes he was lied to and described the total scenario as “BS.”
“So I stated I’m gonna think about it and I wait around a couple times and I observed in the media that Ali Abdelaziz came out publicly and explained ‘Hey, now Georges desires to combat, but now we now retired…’ It was all BS.
“Dana kind of lied to me. They didn’t strategy Khabib to start with, they approached me first to make it materialize. I know now for a reality (that Dana lied to me). A hundred percent.”
Ultimately, St. Pierre thinks the negotiations also tie-in to his comparatively new endeavor to crossover into the boxing ring, which White and UFC shot down. St. Pierre probable would’ve scored a big payday, but he didn’t want to the be bad dude by going to court in excess of the situation.
“Dana, now, could’ve gotten back again to the media and stated, ‘Oh, why would I enable Georges go fight in boxing when he does not want to struggle Khabib with the UFC?’ So he would’ve experienced a excellent cause.
“That’s why he did this. It was a strategic go on his section. It’s usually like this with Dana.”