UFC's Dana White Talks Khabib vs. St-Pierre amid Video of Closed-Door Meeting

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2021

Stephen McCarthy

UFC President Dana White discussed Friday the possibility of both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre coming out of retirement to fight each other.

White addressed the idea in an interview with UFC Arabia:

On the prospect of Nurmagomedov fighting GSP, White said: "I don’t know. I think that if he wanted to fight Georges St-Pierre, you have him give up the [UFC Lightweight] title, and him and Georges St-Pierre could fight."

White tweeted video of Khabib getting ready to have a meeting Friday in Abu Dhabi:

While Khabib retired after beating Justin Gaethje in August to improve to 29-0 as a professional fighter, White met with him in hopes of getting him to come back for at least one more fight.

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Since Khabib has talked about his desire to fight St-Pierre in the past, offering a bout with GSP could be White's best chance of getting Nurmagomedov back in the fold.

Upon retiring, Khabib cited not wanting to fight anymore following the death of his father and trainer Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Khabib also said he spoke with his mother and told her he wouldn't fight any longer.

White has been adamant about having a meeting with Khabib and pleading his case ever since, however. White discussed his plan for Friday's meeting and the fights he would like to see Nurmagomedov in if he were to return:

"Here’s the thing. The last time he fought here [against Gaethje], he was under tremendous pressure physically, mentally, emotionally. His dad had just died, and I don't think that anybody should make a decision that big with what he was dealing with. He's had time now to go home and heal, spend time with family, think about a lot of things, so this is just going to be a real easy conversation. It's yes or no. Did you really want to retire or do you wanna fight one more time?
"... I mean [a rematch with] Conor McGregor is a no-brainer of a rematch if he wins the fight [with Dustin Poirier at UFC 257] on Saturday. [Charles] Oliveira is out there now. There's guys out there that are big fights, good fights, fights that make sense for him. It just depends on where his head's at and what he wants to do."

White has never publicly pushed for Khabib vs. GSP, but Nurmagomedov clearly has a great deal of respect for St-Pierre, and there is no question that UFC fans would like to see the fight.

The 39-year-old St-Pierre has fought only once since 2013, that being a submission win over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in 2017 for the UFC middleweight title.

St-Pierre vacated the title while dealing with ulcerative colitis and later announced his retirement in 2019.

In his career, GSP is 26-2, and he won rematches against the only fighters he lost to—Matt Hughes and Matt Serra.

Meanwhile, Khabib is a perfect 29-0, and going for 30-0 would be a huge deal regardless of the opponent. But given GSP's dominance and the fact that he has barely fought since 2013, the excitement among fans would likely reach a fever pitch.