Khabib Nurmagamedov Has Confirmed that the Next Fight He Wants Will is Against Georges St. Pierre… The Lightweight Champion Has Explained When He Plans to Return And Where…
Khabib Nurmagamedov has signalled that he’ll be ready to return at the end of the year. He’s set to reject the Nevada Athletic Commission’s offer of a three-month reduction in his retroactive 9-month ban, that would have seen him eligible to return in April.
The Russian champion already has his eye on another opponent. He wants to fight Georges St. Pierre, whether it be at 155 or the ‘not happening’ but definitely happening 165lb division. That would be the biggest possible fight he could have, other than a rematch with Conor McGregor.
Georges St. Pierre is a legend of the sport. The most successful welterweight in UFC history, he returned after four years out of action to claim the middleweight title. Many fans consider him to be the best ever. He’s signalled that he would be interested in fighting Khabib and has allegedly already done a test cut down to 155lbs.
Khabib recognizes that the UFC probably won’t want the division to be put on hold for a year. What’s in his favour is that he’s unlikely to be stripped because he’s made his position as champion irrevocable by beating their golden boy, McGregor. He told Russia’s Match TV:
“I think that they will create an interim title. It could be between [Dustin] Poirier and [Tony] Ferguson. Whoever wins will become the interim champion, and then at the end of the year we will fight for the real belt.”
“My return will be planned for around November, in New York [in Madison Square Garden]. He’s fought there before [St. Pieere], and there’s a big [Russian] diaspora,”
For his part, Khabib has absolutely zero regrets regarding the post-fight brawl at UFC 229. After brutalizing Conor McGregor, and finally submitting him in the fourth round, he decided the best way to celebrate was to eagle strike Dillon Danis. The Dagestani fighter says that he would do it again. He told Russia’s Match TV:
“I’ve had many situations in my life that I regret, but you can’t turn back time. But this is not on the list of things I regret. If the situation happened again 100 times, I would do the same thing 100 times. I don’t have a gram of regret about my actions. Some people liked it, some people didn’t. It makes no difference. I did what I wanted to do.”
“I already knew what it (the ban) would be approximately. I didn’t like it, the commission didn’t take into account the fact that I wasn’t the initiator of the fight. Our team didn’t start all of it. The commission only took into account the end. I was fined exactly 10 times more than McGregor. I believe that this attitude isn’t only towards me, but also towards our country. Sport should be without politics. And in our fight, politics were very strongly felt. I hadn’t felt that before, but now I’ve begun to.”
Guess what: Khabib might even be willing to forgive McGregor in the future. He’s highly devout and believes in forgiving and atoning for past sins. He said:
“Who are we not to forgive people if the Almighty forgives us? At the moment I can say that it’s difficult for me to reach that point, but in the future, anything could happen, I wouldn’t rule it out. I’m not the kind of person who bears a grudge. I showed everything inside and outside the cage. I’m also pleased that the judge recognized McGregor as the victim. After the fight, it was clear who’s who in a lot of cases…But anything could happen.”
Wouldn’t that be nice?