UFC commentator and former MMA fighter Kenny Florian has weighed in on the speculation regarding a superfight between lightweight champion Conor McGregor and middleweight king Georges St-Pierre, saying it won't happen.
Florian was speaking on the The Anik and Florian Podcast (h/t Daily Star's Chisanga Malata) to discuss what's next for GSP, and while he believes fights could be made with interim champion Robert Whittaker and welterweight kingpin Tyron Woodley, the Notorious would not be a realistic option:
“Obviously, there's that Conor McGregor guy who might make things interesting, but I know for Georges he doesn't really want to go down in weight too much.
"He feels like he's already done it all at 170 pounds and he did it in an age where the welterweight division was just ridiculous, and I think going down against 155 pounds, I don't know if he really feels Conor McGregor is a challenge to be honest. Going against a much smaller guy and having the takedown skills that he has.
"He's gone against a lot of other great strikers in his career, and I don't think Conor McGregor is gonna be big enough or has the wrestling prowess to stop the takedowns of a Georges St-Pierre."
McGregor hasn't fought in the Octagon in over a year, with his last appearance coming at UFC 205, where he beat Eddie Alvarez to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two division titles at the same time.
He also became the third man to win titles in multiple divisions, a feat GSP repeated at UFC 217 by a TKO win over Michael Bisping. The 36-year-old has long been regarded as one of the sport's greatest ever combatants, and the feat only strengthened his case.
St-Pierre has always been a popular fighter, even during his hiatus, with a multitude of superfights suggested over the years. McGregor is the most popular fighter in MMA today, and his bouts have crushed all pay-per-view records. He showed his cross-sport appeal when he faced Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the boxing ring, losing by TKO earlier this year.
Matching the two inside the Octagon would be a dream scenario for the UFC from a monetary perspective, as shared by Fury's Fight Picks:
Fury's Fight Picks @FurysFightPicks
While this tweet was said in a joking manner, you better believe the UFC owners would sacrifice their first born children for GSP/McGregor https://t.co/0llGG9RabF2017-11-5 07:17:06
It's hard to see how it could happen, however. GSP was always a natural fit at welterweight and is unlikely to drop below that weight level. He could stay at middleweight to face rising star Whittaker, even if the Canadian appeared a step slower than usual in the win over Bisping.
McGregor isn't much shorter than GSP, according to Sherdog, but he has spent the bulk of his MMA career at featherweight. He only moved up in weight to chase the multiple-division title record, and clearly struggled with his conditioning in both of his fights against Nate Diaz.
The UFC has also tried to match the Notorious with fighters who prefer to stay on their feet, as his spectacular fighting style is ill-suited for dealing with wrestlers. GSP has a background as a stand-up fighter himself but is also a world-class grappler who likely wouldn't have too much trouble dealing with the smaller Irishman.