Shortly before Georges St-Pierre’s official retirement on February 21, 2019, current UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov lobbied for the MMA legend to stay active so the two could face one another in the ring.
This was a long rumored match-up that didn’t seem to happen. Nurmagomedov called out St-Pierre after his UFC 223 win over Al Iaquinta. St-Pierre declined the bout as he wasn’t medically fit to compete but in June 2018, rumors started circulating that the former Middleweight and Welterweight champion was looking to return to competition.
The date of the return was supposed to be at UFC 227 with the opponent being Nate Diaz.
St-Pierre declined Diaz as an opponent and the fight at the August 4, 2018 never materialized.
Around the time of that event, St-Pierre stated he wanted to fight by the end of the year and wanted to drop down to lightweight to fight the winner of the October 6, 2018 match between Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.
Nurmagomedov would win that match via unanimous decision but a post fight brawl would lead to suspensions to both fighters by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
When the St-Pierre/Nurmagomedov match didn’t happen, St-Pierre decided to retire from the sport. Even in retirement St-Pierre stated he wanted one more fight before he called it a career but Dana White and the UFC didn’t seem interested in setting him up against Nurmagomedov.
He discussed it during his announcement;
“We tried to organize the fight. I know Khabib wanted it and I wanted it, but the UFC has other plans. For me, it’s about taking one fight at a time, instead of being there for several fights. The way the business works, I believe, if the UFC promotes someone, they want to keep him there—to have a guarantee. I don’t have that same motivation.”
Now the possibility of the fight has resurfaced over the weekend. Nurmagomedov’s manager revealed he is trying to convince St-Pierre to come out of retirement to face his fighter. Ali Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports that both fighters have described this as a “dream fight” and he’s sure they could come to an agreement on what weight class the fight would take place at.
Abdelaziz would have to not only convince St-Pierre to come out of retirement but also that the fight makes sense to Dana White, who apparently killed plans for the fight in the past.
If the fight does come to fruition, it would have to be scheduled after Nurmagomedov’s match against Dustin Poirier to unify the UFC Lightweight title. That fight is scheduled for UFC 242 on September 7, 2019. As impressive as Poirier has been, many expect Nurmagomedov to remain undefeated and unify the title.
St-Pierre’s last fight was November 4, 2017 when he defeated Michael Bisping to win the UFC Middleweight title. He would later have to relinquish the title due to medical issues he was facing. He retired with a 26-2 record and was on a 13-fight-win streak.