Dana White Says He's Open to Khabib Facing Georges St-Pierre in Final UFC Fight

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2020

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2018, file photo, Khabib Nurmagomedov poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 229 mixed martial arts fight in Las Vegas. Nevada fight regulators postponed until next month hearings on suspensions against UFC fighters Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for a brawl after their October match in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
John Locher/Associated Press

UFC President Dana White said Monday that he would be open to allowing Khabib Nurmagomedov choose his final opponent, and didn't rule out UFC legend Georges St-Pierre as a possibility:

According to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, White offered support for a couple of potential fights, including a rematch between Khabib and Conor McGregor:

"At the end of the day, the Conor McGregor [rematch], I know Conor has wanted that fight since the last one [in October 2018]. That's a fight to make, but I don't know. We'll see how this plays out. Sure, [I would be open to St-Pierre] if it's his last fight. This guy's been great to the company, great to the sport. I like Khabib a lot. I would do anything Khabib wanted to do."

The 31-year-old Khabib is the reigning UFC Lightweight champion and owns a perfect 28-0 record. Per Okamoto, Khabib's manager Ali Abdelaziz told UFC Arabia that the undefeated champion intends to retire with a record of 30-0.

Abdelaziz has said that Khabib plans to face interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje some time this year. Should Nurmagomedov win that fight, he will improve to 29-0 and be one fight away from reaching his apparent goal.

Okamoto noted that both Khabib and his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, have expressed interest in a fight against St-Pierre over the years because of their respect for him. Abdulmanap died in early July as a result of COVID-19 complications.

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St-Pierre took an extended break from MMA from 2013 until 2017 when he returned to beat Michael Bisping at UFC 217. He battled ulcerative colitis after that, however, and announced his retirement in 2019.

Per Okamoto, St-Pierre said during his retirement announcement that both he and Khabib "wanted" a fight against each other, but "UFC has other plans."

Khabib would likely be a heavy favorite against St-Pierre since the latter is 39 years old and has fought only once since 2013, but he is a UFC Hall of Famer and one of the all-time greatest with a 26-2 record.

Based purely on generating interest and drawing a large pay-per-view audience, Khabib vs. GSP would likely be big business for UFC.

Khabib vs. McGregor II would similarly get the MMA world buzzing, although McGregor is also retired. The Irishman has come out of retirement before, though, and could be intrigued by another crack at Khabib.

At UFC 229 in October 2018, Khabib beat McGregor by fourth-round submission to retain the UFC lightweight title.

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