Dana White’s Still Not on Board With Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Georges St-Pierre
Khabib Nurmagomedov hasn't stopped callling for a bout with Georges St-Pierre, but Dana White's standing by his stance on the proposed all-star match-up.
Both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre have let it be known that they’d like to fight one another, and there’s no question that the match-up would generate boat loads of cash. But, Dana White still maintains the bout shouldn’t happen.
For several months, St-Pierre stated that if a fight with Khabib could materialize, he was down. The lightweight champ, meanwhile, has also repeatedly called for that fight. In fact, even after St-Pierre retired, since a bout with Khabib seemed extremely unlikely, the latter has continued to express an interest in facing the legend.
Well, recently TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter spoke with White, and he asked him about the possibility of Nurmagomedov – GSP happening. Here’s some of what the UFC President had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“Well there’s two things — first of all, who doesn’t love Georges St-Pierre? Love Georges St-Pierre, the best ever as far as human beings, great guy, love him. Georges St-Pierre and I had a deal, he was going to fight [Michael] Bisping at 185 pounds and if he won, he would defend the title. He bailed on that. Didn’t do it. So you can’t just come out and hand pick fights that you want for titles.”
“He made this deal with me that he would defend the title,” White explained. “He went in and he saw Bisping as an easy fight. He fought Bisping and then you look at the guys that are behind Bisping and they’re all killers. They’re all literally killers.
“But now to come back and he wants to fight at 155 for the title. We’re not doing a goofy 165 [pound] whatever, that’s not going to happen.”
Now, GSP, his team, and sure, other people as well, would likely note St-Pierre vacated the 185 title due to a bout with ulcerative colitis. Does that constitute bailing? Guess it depends on how you use that term. Did St-Pierre view Bisping as an easier fight, than say, other top middleweights like Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker etc? It’s very possible.
White also added in the interview that it isn’t fair to other fighters to hand GSP another title shot, in a division he’s never competed in. It is hard to argue with that based on meritocratic principles. But, this is the same company that was going to hand Brock Lesnar a title shot.
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All this aside, White did note in the interview that if Khabib continues to hold the belt, and if he continues to push for a fight with GSP, then they may indeed, need to consider it. But, when you consider St-Pierre is now 38, by the time the UFC’s willing to take a look at that fight, it maybe too late.