Firas Zahabi believes the striking advantage Georges St-Pierre holds over Khabib Nurmagomedov would ultimately be the deciding factor if they ever fought.
Earlier this year, Nurmagomedov campaigned for a super fight with St-Pierre. However, it never came to fruition with “GSP” later officially announcing his mixed martial arts retirement.
The topic still comes up nonetheless. St-Pierre notably claimed the UFC wasn’t on board with it because it would be a risk for their “significant investment” in the undefeated Nurmagomedov. That implies “The Eagle” would likely lose to St-Pierre, at least in the UFC’s eyes.
That’s how Zahabi — head coach of St-Pierre — sees the fight going as well as he believes his student has more tools and physical advantages that will lead him to victory.
“I’ll tell you something — outside of all the fighters I work with, Khabib is my favorite fighter,” Zahabi said on the ReRooted podcast. “So it’s impossible for me not to be biased. …I think Georges is more complete to be honest. One, his hands are more refined, his punching skills are more refined. And two, his kicking skills are far more refined that Khabib’s. So if Georges were to play it safe, which I don’t think he would, he could just outpoint Khabib with just his legs. Georges has very seasoned legs, very experienced kicking ability.
“His chances of putting Khabib on his back are just as good as Khabib putting him on his back. He’s heavier, bigger and stronger. Plus he’ll be able to set up his takedowns more because of his longer range and more seasoned striking ability. So if I put them in a wrestling match, maybe it’d be very heated. But if I add Georges’ striking, Georges is very clever to use his striking for setups. To close the distance, to get close to the legs to grab on to you. Now they also have very different wrestling styles. Khabib shoots very low often. In my opinion, it would be very difficult to score on Georges St-Pierre, very difficult. He’s just too big, too strong, too athletic and a very seasoned wrestler.”
Of course, we will never know for sure until the two get locked up inside the Octagon.
For now, that seems impossible. But even if they negate each other’s wrestling, Zahabi feels St-Pierre’s striking is enough to get the win.
“Let’s call the wrestling even for now just to make everybody happy,” he added. “Georges’ striking will give him such a strong edge. That edge will lead to him dominating in wrestling.”