It’s always fun to consider hypotheticals in any sport, including dream matchups. UFC is no different. One matchup many fans would love to see? Georges St-Pierre versus Khabib Nurmagomedov.
But will St-Pierre ever get a chance to fight Nurmagomedov?
Georges St-Pierre’s resume
Since his Octagon debut in 2004, St-Pierre has been one of the sport’s most electrifying fighters.
St-Pierre has a career UFC record of 26-2, according to UFC.com. He’s currently on a 13-fight winning streak. He has had 12 career decisions with nine total title defenses. He possesses a striking accuracy of 53%, with 1,313 signature strikes landed on 2,470 strikes attempted. His grappling accuracy is 74%, with 90 takedowns landed on 122 attempted.
St-Pierre hasn’t entered the Octagon in nearly two years. His last fight was at UFC 217 on November 4, 2017 versus Michael Bisping. St-Pierre submitted Bisping at 4:24 in the third round. If two years seems like a long time away, consider that St-Pierre had gone even longer without a fight prior to that. His last fight before Bisping was on November 16, 2013.
While there is no doubt St-Pierre will have a lasting legacy in the ring, his lack of fighting experience in the last six years raises questions about how well he’d stack up against one of 2019’s greatest fighters.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s resume
Nurmagomedov, also known as “The Eagle,” is currently a devastating 27-0 and UFC’s lightweight champion. In his 27 career fights, he has eight wins by knockout and eight by submission. He has a striking accuracy of 50%, with 657 signature strikes landed on 1,323 attempts. He has a grappling accuracy of 49%, with 49 takedowns landed on 116 attempts.
Nurmagomedov’s style is simple, as described by the website The Sports Geek:
“If you haven’t seen all of his fights, no problem. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. He walks forward, takes his opponents down, and smashes them. Khabib does this over and over until the other fighter quits by giving him a submission or he wins by TKO as his opponents cease to defend repeated ground and pound strikes.”
His last fight – a submission victory over Conor McGregor in November 2018 – ended in controversy. The two engaged in an ugly post-fight brawl that led to multiple fines and suspensions. Nurmagomedov hasn’t fought since.
Why Georges St-Pierre will never get a chance to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov
“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,” White told TSN recently in Canada. “So you can’t just come out and hand pick fights that you want for titles.”
It appears that White feels scorned over St-Pierre’s broken promise. He is, however, above all else a businessman. Based on White’s history of promoting fights, this quote may be acting as a trial balloon to get a feel for how much demand MMA fans have for this fight.
The real question here is: should St-Pierre fight Nurmagomedov? He’s nearing the end of his career and hasn’t had a fight in over two years. Nurmagomedov has also had some time off but is younger and definitely at the top of his game.