Khabib Nurmagomedov has no plans to fight anyone in the UFC lightweight division, but Georges St-Pierre could possibly bring him out of retirement.
Khabib retired after successfully defending his lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 last October. Afterwards, Dana White spent the following months chasing the Russian superstar in hopes of luring him into fighting again, but to no avail.
‘The Eagle’ is also not interested in a rematch with either Dustin Poirier – who stopped Conor McGregor at UFC 257 – or the Irishman, who has slipped down the pecking order in the 155lbs division.
GSP Or Retirement
At 29-0, there isn’t a lot left for Khabib to prove, but a dream matchup with former welterweight and middleweight champion St-Pierre, could change his mind, coach Javier Mendez told Submission Radio (as transcribed by Denis Shkuratov).
“I didn’t even know if [Conor] was gonna do great that Khabib would even fight him, cause he’s gotta ask his mother’s permission first,” Mendez said. “You guys gotta remember, the key thing is that he has to ask his mother too for permission. I didn’t see GSP being offered, and I thought the only way he was gonna come out of it was if GSP was in that picture. But based on what happened, I don’t see why he would want to come out and fight anybody.
“Why? This fight with Dustin is not gonna motivate him. He’s not looking at the money aspect of it. But if they can put GSP on the table, maybe there’s a chance there. And I’m not saying it will happen, because I don’t know, but I’m just saying GSP might be the only one. I’ve always thought it was GSP, because that’s what his father wanted, and I think if they can get that one worked out and he can get his mother’s permission, I think that one could work. But I don’t think anybody else is gonna work. Period.”
Mendez went on to say that his advice to Khabib would be to either hold out for St-Pierre or retire.
“If he asked my opinion, I would say hold out for GSP or retire,” Mendez continued. “That’s what I would tell him. But he’s never asked me, so that conversation never took place.”
Before UFC 257, there was a lot of talk about a potential rematch between Khabib and McGregor. However, Mendez doesn’t believe the two fighters will ever lock horns again, especially after the Dublin native’s brutal TKO loss to Poirier.
“You’re never gonna get that rematch,” Mendez said. “Just like you’re never going to get the Tony and Khabib fight. That’s never gonna happen either. It’s not gonna happen. I mean, Khabib doesn’t need it. He seems fulfilled. And like I said, I think the only juicy part for him is what his father wanted, GSP. I’ve said it many times.
“And who knows, even that might be out of the question now. Maybe GSP doesn’t want it, maybe Khabib don’t want it now. I don’t know, cause I never talked to Khabib about what he wants, I’ve always listened to him.”
Pre-UFC 257 Training
Mendez also revealed that Khabib asked to train prior to UFC 257, which made him feel like the undefeated Dagestani superstar had something in mind. However, the American Kickboxing Academy supremo said his guy is not interested in fighting anymore.
“It was nothing closely remotely to a camp,” Mendez said. “He just [said] coach, ‘Let’s work pads.’ And I go, ‘Why?’ And he goes, ‘Just to work.’ And I go, ‘Bulls***, you might be thinking about it.’ And he goes, ‘No, no, I just want to train.’ I go, ‘Alright, whatever. I don’t care, I’ll train you anyways, it doesn’t matter.’ You know, he wants to fight, he doesn’t want to fight, I’ll train him whenever he wants.
“I felt he was interested in a potential match if it was the right one. I did feel that. Otherwise, I don’t think he would have asked for me to train him. But I think after the performance of what happened, I don’t think there’s any interest anymore, period. And I could be wrong, but I don’t think there is.”
Would you be interested in a potential matchup between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre?