Thursday, January 27, 2022

Khabib Backs Kamaru Usman To Beat 2021 GSP But Not Prime Version

Khabib Nurmagomedov believes Kamaru Usman would have the edge over Georges St-Pierre in 2021 but has a different tone about how the 2010 version of the Canadian would fare against today’s UFC welterweight champion.

In a recent interview with UFC Russia, Nurmagomedov revealed that he believes the current UFC welterweight champion Usman would beat St-Pierre now in 2021 because he is in his prime at the moment. However, “The Eagle” did mention that it would have been a difficult challenge for Usman if it was 2009-2010 when St-Pierre was on top form during his reign before implying that it was wrong to compare because they were dominant in two different eras.

“Right now, I think Usman because it is his prime time,” said Nurmagomedov. “What was the prime time of St-Pierre? I believe it was 2009-2010. I think it would have been tough for Usman to fight with him back then. I think St-Pierre was the best at that time. So 2021 and 2010 are different times and a different level of competition. It’d be wrong to compare it. It is like to think who’d win: Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali? No one knows and no one will ever know.”

St-Pierre is widely regarded as the greatest welterweight and perhaps one of the greatest of all time in MMA. The Canadian martial artist retired in 2013 having held the record for most wins in championship title bouts and the second longest reigning champion (2204 days) in UFC history.

During his reign, he defended his welterweight title nine times against the likes of BJ Penn, Dan Hardy, Carlos Condit, and Nick Diaz. He returned to the octagon in 2017 at UFC 217 where he defeated the UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping to become a two-division world champion, further adding to the legacy of his storied career.

Back in St-Pierre’s heyday, it’s easy to see why so many people became fans of his, including Nurmagomedov, who admitted he is a massive fan of the Canadian legend. The Dagestani native eventually gave the nod to prime St-Pierre over Usman because of his legendary status.

“Well, I’m a man who grew up during St-Pierre’s reign,” said Nurmagomedov. “I’m a huge fan of him. So I’m leaning more towards St-Pierre. I hope Usman won’t be offended. We are also good friends with Usman. I think Usman himself also liked St-Pierre, and I think that Usman probably grew up watching his fights, too. So let’s not offend the legend. I choose St-Pierre.”

Who do you think would have won if both fought in their prime?

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Kenny Lee
Aspiring Sports Journalist mostly focused on covering MMA. Writer for MMA News. Master Of Arts in Sports Journalism.