Renowned head coach Firas Zahabi of Georges St-Pierre says Khabib Nurmagomedov and GSP should be allowed to enjoy their retirement and should not be forced to fight.
There’s been a lot of talk about a potential bout between dominant UFC champions Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov, even after both are seemingly happy with their decisions to retire from mixed martial arts while on top of their games.
This past Saturday following a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje in the UFC 254 main event, the undefeated Russian laid his gloves down in the center of the octagon and announced that he was calling it a career. After earning a 29-0 record, Nurmagomedov said he made a promise to his mother to retire from competition following one more fight, which came months after the tragic death of his father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
St-Pierre vs. Nurmagomedov has long been talked about as a dream fight. While “Rush” and “The Eagle” have expressed interest in the fight, the UFC never made it happen. UFC President Dana White was hesitant in booking the bout due to a deal gone wrong once St-Pierre vacated the UFC Middleweight Championship in late 2017.
While the UFC boss later warmed up to the idea, Khabib announced his retirement following a second-round submission victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. White believes that Nurmagomedov will ultimately forgo retirement in an attempt to go 30-0 in his pro MMA career.
Taking to his YouTube channel, Zahabi explained why he’d rather see GSP and Khabib stay retired (via BloodyElbow.com).
“Listen, Khabib is retired, Georges is retired. I’m happy to keep them retired,” Firas Zahabi said.
“Khabib has said how he wants to just be ‘free as an eagle.’ Who would I be to petition him online and pull him back in? I wouldn’t do that. Never. These guys — both Khabib and Georges — deserve their retirement.”
Zahabi isn’t completely writing off the possibility of a super fight between GSP and Nurmagomedov, but it has to be something both men want, not what he or the UFC wants.
“I don’t want to get too involved. I don’t want to call Georges and say ‘Hey man, why don’t you get off the movie set? Why don’t you get off all these projects, leave your family, put your personal life on hold, and let’s do a training camp.’ I don’t have the heart to ask him to do that,” Zahabi said.
“He has to do that on his own. If he wants to do it, it’s got to come from deep down inside. That guy has written his story. He’s done it, Khabib has done it. I don’t think we should ask them to come back. They should want to come back.”
If Nurmagomedov sticks to his retirement, then he’ll walk away from the sport with a perfect record of 29-0. He’d also leave as the undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion.
Do you think Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov will ever fight?
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