The UFC would have liked you to believe that Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Georges St-Pierre was once a real possibility. With Nurmagomedov calling it a career last year at 29-0, rumours began circulating that the only opponent that could temp him back would be the legendary GSP.
Supposedly it was Nurmagomedov’s late father Abdulmanap’s dream that his son would finish his career at 30-0 with a win over the French-Canadian. However, Nurmagomedov stayed firm in his commitment to retire and not put his recently widowed mother through the stress of seeing her son fight.
Dana White and the UFC spent months trying to convince ‘The Eagle’ to return, but they eventually gave up and took him at his word. Throughout this time Nurmagomedov stuck to his guns about a potential GSP fight, stating that people need to let this one go.
St-Pierre was also on record saying a fight with Nurmagomedov was very exciting to him, but also extremely unlikely.
Recently fans at The Arnold Sports Festival in the UK were treated to the closest possible thing to seeing these former champions fight. Watch below as ‘Rush’ sneaks out from behind the curtains to snap on a rear naked choke while Nurmagomedov speaks on stage.
“OHHHH…GSP takes Khabib’s back!”
What a moment! GSP and Khabib meet at the Arnold Sports Festival UK…
What a fight that would have been!
x @arnoldsportsuk pic.twitter.com/CvxnUDQGHw
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) October 1, 2021
It was all smiles, though, as St-Pierre then reveals himself to the Dagestani and they hug it out.
It seems like St-Pierre vs. Nurmagomedov is just going to be one of those fantasy fights that never happens. And that’s OK.
Both St-Pierre and Nurmagomedov will go down as two of the best fighters to ever compete in MMA.
The French-Canadian had a storied run in the promotion as welterweight champion before taking vacating his title and taking a hiatus in 2013. He returned four years later to take on Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title. In that bout St-Pierre erased all doubts that he was on of the GOATs, when he knocked down and choked out his opponent to claim his second title.
Before his retirement in 2020, Nurmagomedov cleaved through the UFC’s most competitive division. He won the lightweight title in 2018 and defended it on three occasions.
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