Monday, September 26, 2022

Khabib Wasn’t The Only ‘Bucket List’ Fight For GSP Pre-Retirement

As well as a much-rumored clash with former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Georges St-Pierre has another name on his list of fights that got away.

During his career in mixed martial arts, St-Pierre secured his place among the elite with a record-breaking stint atop the welterweight mountain and a successful pursuit of two-division champ status.

At 170 pounds, the Canadian recorded victories over names like BJ Penn, Matt Hughes, Matt Serra, Thiago Alves, Dan Hardy, and Nick Diaz. In his sole outing at middleweight, GSP returned from a four-year layoff to dethrone Michael Bisping in 2017.

While that outing remains his last inside the Octagon, talk long existed about a possible return during the 155-pound reign of Khabib. Even with both men now retired, some fans are not giving up hope of seeing the pair engage in some form of combat — hope that was spurred on when St-Pierre told MMA News he’d consider a grappling match with “The Eagle.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov & Georges St-Pierre

But while a collision with the undefeated Dagestani perhaps stands out as the major St-Pierre fight that got away for modern fans, there’s one more that comes to mind for the man himself.

Silva Joins Khabib On GSP’s ‘Fights That Got Away’ List

During a recent interview with Helen Yee, St-Pierre discussed his pursuit of GOAT status, and the two names he’d hoped to face and defeat in order to secure it.

As well as Khabib expectedly getting a mention, “Rush” named a bout with former middleweight king and fellow GOAT contender Anderson Silva as a blockbuster showdown that could have been made during his time in the Octagon, but ultimately never came to fruition.

“I always wanted to be known as the best and be the best, and there are two fights that never materialized that could have been made, but for certain reasons did not materialize,” St-Pierre said. “The first one was against Anderson Silva, and the other one was against Khabib, but for certain reasons, it did not happen.

“When you’re a fighter, you need the two fighters and the promoter to make a fight happen,” St-Pierre continued. “Even if the two fighters want, but the promoter doesn’t make it happen, it’s not going to happen. Each fighter brings their terms that they want, then they negotiate, and then it’s up to the promoter to make that happen. It did not happen for these two guys.” (h/t GiveMeSport)

While Silva dominated the UFC’s 185-pound weight class between 2006 and 2013, successfully defending the gold 10 times, St-Pierre ruled with similar supremacy in the division below, dispatching nine challenges during his second reign on the welterweight throne between 2008 and 2013.

While both forged historical careers on the top step of their respective divisional ladders during the same period, and despite some discussion of the legendary duo sharing the Octagon for a much sought-after superfight, the showdown never progressed beyond talk, even with Silva’s apparent willingness to drop to 170 pounds for it.

Interestingly, UFC President Dana White has previously laid the blame at St-Pierre’s doorstep when it comes to why the Canadian never shared the Octagon with Silva. In a 2020 Instagram Live session, White admitted that the bout never came close to happening, citing a lack of interest on the side of St-Pierre as the reason.

Who would you rather have seen Georges St-Pierre face, Khabib Nurmagomedov or Anderson Silva?

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