Former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre was intrigued by a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov because nobody so far has solved the puzzle of defeating him.
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Nurmagomedov is the UFC lightweight champion and is still unbeaten, with many debating if he’s even lost a round in the UFC, though Gleison Tibau has a solid shout. One of the most talked about dream matchups for “The Eagle” was a fight with St-Pierre. In the end, it didn’t pan out with “GSP” retiring earlier this year as a result.
But the matchup certainly interested St-Pierre, who believes there are areas where he is superior and inferior to Nurmagomedov.
“If I want the legacy fight, Khabib is the man to beat right now,” St-Pierre said on TSN’s Montreal 690 radio show (via Bloody Elbow). “He is the best fighter in the world right now to me. Undefeated, and he hasn’t shown any kind of weakness. Nobody has ever been close to solving the puzzle. So that’s why it was very interesting for me.
“There are different areas of the fight where I’m better than him. Even though he’s better than me in some stuff, I’m quicker in and out and controlling the distance and getting inside for the takedown. (I’m) faster in the open stance. He’s better near the fence. I’m better in the open. If I get that fight in the open, I win.”
UFC welterweight Ben Askren said something along those lines as well. Back in April, when comparing the two, he believed “GSP” was better at timing his takedowns, while Nurmagomedov does a better job of staying on top among other aspects of wrestling.
It’s a shame we will likely never see the matchup, but a division as stacked as the lightweight division can’t afford to be stalled any further.