Coach Doesn’t See Khabib Nurmagomedov Keeping Georges St-Pierre Down
Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the best wrestlers and grapplers the game has ever seen. But, if the lightweight champ does end up fighting Georges St-Pierre, the latter's coach doesn't see Khabib keeping the fight on the floor.
Firas Zahabi has heaped praise on Khabib Nurmagomedov and his galaxy-class wrestling skills in the past. But, the Tristar coach believes if the lightweight champ does end up fighting Georges St-Pierre, Khabib will be forced to put his striking game to work.
Zahabi weighs-in on Khabib vs. GSP
As you likely know, there’s been talk about the possibility of St-Pierre fighting Nurmagomedov for months. GSP has made it clear he wants to fight the undefeated fighter, and the lightweight champ has said he wants to battle the legend. But, since initially, UFC President Dana White said the bout wasn’t going to happen, St-Pierre retired. More recently, however, White has seemed open to the all-star match-up.
Well, it remains to be seen if Khabib and GSP ever fight. But, during Zahabi’s recent FightTips podcast, St-Pierre’s longtime coach had this to say about the much-discussed match-up (quote via MMA Junkie):
“Even if Khabib would take Georges down, let’s give the best case scenario: I think Georges is getting up, personally,” Zahabi said. “He’s going to get up. Georges’ jiu-jitsu is impeccable. It’s impeccable. It’s not going to be like holding down anybody in the 155-pound division today. It’s another level. Georges, even if Khabib gets him down – and I love Khabib, I’m a mega Khabib fan, as a person and as a fighter, huge fan of his – Georges’ ability to get up is incredible, and I would be surprised if Khabib ever gets more than one takedown. It would shock me. It would surprise me, to be honest.”
“Georges is incredibly hard to take down,” Zahabi said. “Look at his career: How many times has he been taken down? And when he was taken down, how long did he stay down? It was a fraction of a second. He’s always up. He’s a difficult human being to keep down.”
It’s an interesting argument and Zahabi could be right. After all, St-Pierre is widely regarded to be one of the best wrestlers in MMA as well, and he’s also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So, it would be fascinating to see whether Khabib could take GSP down multiple times and what would happen if he did.
Is Zahabi biased?
Now, some people might read this and just say Zahabi’s being biased, on account of his longterm relationship with GSP. Well, the renowned coach also said this, while discussing how a fight between GSP and Khabib would play out on the feet.
“There’s no way I can tell you I’m not biased – I’m biased for sure,” he said. “But I think Georges’ kicking ability alone will bank him in rounds. They’re both good jabbers, actually. I think Khabib is a good jabber. But I think defensively, Georges is far superior – defensively. His boxing is longer and better, more precise. If you look at it statistically, I think Georges’ numbers are better, and he has a superior kicking ability.”
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Of course, before this fight can be a possibility, Nurmagmedov needs to get by Tony Ferguson on April 18th.