Who is Khabib going to fight next?
That’s a question we’ve all been asking since Nurmagomedov’s latest win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. Several names have been thrown around. Tony Ferguson is the obvious deserving #1 contender, but UFC president Dana White made it sound like there was a good chance the eccentric “El Cucuy” might turn down the fight. If that happened, White said, Conor McGregor would ‘make a lot of sense.’
Khabib has made it clear that he’s not interested in fighting McGregor again right now, but he and his manager have another suggestion should Ferguson be unavailable: Georges St-Pierre. The former welterweight kingpin may be retired, but he’s still training like a maniac and reports have him more than capable of dropping down to lightweight to challenge for Nurmagomedov’s 155 pound belt.
But when asked by Las Vegas Sports Network reporter Helen Yee who he thought should be next, St-Pierre made it clear who he thought was most deserving.
”100% Tony Ferguson,” he said. “And it’s going to be a good fight. I’m a big fan. I don’t know [who’ll win]. It all depends who’s going to fight their fight. Tony likes a dirty fight with elbows and knees, that’s his style. Khabib likes to control guys when he’s on the floor with his top game. It all depends how it goes down, styles make fights and it’s hard to predict.”
As for all that talk of returning to face Khabib?
”I’m retired, and retired for a reason,” St-Pierre said. “If anything comes up, the UFC knows where to find me but right now I’m good where I’m at. I can’t complain, life is beautiful.”
And all that training he’s doing, like he’s preparing for a fight or something? Nothing to see here, folks.
”I’m always training,” he said. “I’m not training because I have a fight, I’m training because I love to train, I love to be in shape. And I keep learning as a martial artist. And I like to keep busy.”
So what are the chances of a Khabib vs. GSP fight? Well, there’s been way too much talk at this point to completely discount it. Khabib keeps talking about it, and even had some sort of ‘GSP clause’ included in his latest UFC contract. Dana White recently softened his stance on a potential fight between the two, responding with a tepid ‘Sure’ when asked if the two could fight.
It’s a bout that would obviously make mad amounts of money. The only question: would the UFC be willing to give Georges the cut he’d demand if he were to come out of retirement to challenge Nurmagomedov?