Khabib Nurmagamedov is Finally Ready to Turn His Attention to the Diamond… But Now He’s Got His Eye on Georges St. Pierre by the End of the Year… Is This Even Possible?
After the news broke today that the Nevada State Commission reduced Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagamedov’s bans for their roles in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl, the question has already been asked about when Khabib Nurmagamedov will be coming back. ‘The Eagle’ has refused to return until his teammates were eligible to fight again, which was initially the end of this year.
Now that obstacle has been lifted and Khabib looks set to come sooner than planned. His eventual return looks likely to be in Abu Dhabi in September. After beating Conor McGregor, he’s probably going to fight Dustin Poirier next. However, he’s got his eye on a much bigger name than ‘The Diamond.’
Georges St. Pierre might be officially retired but that hasn’t stopped Ali Abdelaziz from namedropping him as one of Khabib’s next opponents. The loudmouth manager even has a timeframe for when it could happen.
Khabib looks to make up for the time he has lost, after what will be about 11 months out of action. Dustin Poirier is effectively his mandatory challenger as interim champion, but GSP is in his sights. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported the following:
“I asked Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz how close the Poirier fight in Abu Dhabi is, after NSAC shortened his teammates’ suspensions today. “We are close. Good news coming very soon … And if all goes to plan, I think Khabib will fight Georges St-Pierre at the end of the year.”
Wouldn’t this be interesting?
It’s very clear that there is no fight more attractive to Khabib than the great Canadian legend. He might be officially retired but you can bet that he’d take his slippers off for a fight against the Russian. Would the UFC let him do it at lightweight after what happened to the middleweight division when St. Pierre walked away? Probably not.
For some reason, Dana White appears allergic to the idea of a 165lb division. But wouldn’t that catchweight make so much sense? What a way it would be for them to open a division with two of the best UFC fighters to ever step into an octagon. While Khabib’s body of work isn’t as impressive as GSP’s in terms of title defences, you get the feeling that beating ‘Rush’ would solidify his legacy.
Meanwhile, St. Pierre retired because the UFC could offer him nothing that would enhance his legacy. He’s already the best welterweight of all time so he’s got nothing to prove there. A lightweight championship fight appears to be unlikely for a combination of reasons. And money isn’t his motivation anymore after he’s made it all.
Perhaps if Conor McGregor was available they’d consider putting them against each other for the 165lb belt. It would have the combined effect of sealing the UFC’s first triple division champion. That ship appears to have sailed for now though.