A mega-fight between current UFC Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and former two-division champion, Georges St-Pierre, is one that has been on the wish lists of fight fans for years. And all that time, UFC President, Dana White, has been quick to pour cold water on it. Recently, though, White has been a bit more receptive to the idea. And should that fight come to pass, Javier Mendez — head trainer for “The Eagle” — says it would undoubtedly be for the title of “greatest fighter of all time.”
I’m sure a certain former Light Heavyweight champion would have a say in that discussion.
Of course, Khabib has a huge challenge ahead of him as he is lined up to defend his 155-pound strap against interim title holder, Justin Gaethje, in the main event of UFC 254 on Oct. 24, 2020. Should “The Eagle” win that bout, it will push him to 29-0, 13-0 UFC, bringing him that much closer to all-time greatness, as well as retirement.
“Yeah, it’s a big possibility,” Mendez said about the possibility of Nurmagomedov fighting “GSP” and then retiring. “He might do that because all the times that I was with him and his dad, they’ve talked about those things: two more fights, 30-0.
“They want to a legacy fight, then be done and help the other guys that are starting their fighting careers,” he continued. “There’s great fighters, cousins of his who are great fighter like Umar and Usman Nurmagomedov. They're his blood. They’re going to be great fighters. Islam Makhachev too.”
Khabib’s father — who passed away one month ago — had long expressed his interest in one final big-time fight for his son as his swan song. And if “The Eagle” drowns “Highlight,” one would like to think Dana White and Co. would go out of their way to give the greatest Lightweight of all time what he wants before he retires.
And it’s not about cash, says Mendez, but rather for legacy and history.
“He doesn’t want that fight for money and that’s what his father wanted. He told me, ‘That’s what my father wants. What do you think coach?’ And I was like, ‘You know, if that’s what your father wants, we can do it, and if that’s what you want as well.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, I want to do it for my father, so I’m like, ‘Let’s do it.’”
Still, walking away should he reach 30-0 isn’t a guarantee since the champ is still only 31 years of age.
“But if he doesn’t want to end his career he can jump back in there. He’s young, he’s only 31, so he still has a more years of fighting. I’m not going to tell him he has to fight. I’m going to go with what he wants to do,” Mendez concluded.