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Hard bargain! Khabib ‘priced himself out’ of Georges St-Pierre super match in grappling

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s ideal 30th and final career fight would have been the legendary longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre. Unfortunately, it was never meant to be.

Nurmagomedov, 34, retired with a perfect 29-0 record after submitting Justin Gaethje with a second round triangle choke at UFC 254 in Oct. 2020. While his retirement was expected to be near with the goal of 30-0 in mind, the in-Octagon announcement came as a shock to the mixed martial arts (MMA) world. The former Lightweight titleholder revealed that his mother had been begging him to hang up the gloves since his father, Abdulmanap, passed away earlier that previous July 2020. “The Eagle” listened and has kept his promise since.

MMA has still seen involvement from Nurmagomedov in the promotional and coaching realms, but no real comebacks have been teased. That’s not without a lack of trying from offerers, however. The aforementioned St-Pierre is returning to action for a UFC Fight Pass Invitational grappling match in December 2023 and the first name on everyone’s mind was, of course, Nurmagomedov. According to Craig Jones, who competed in the last Fight Pass Invitational, Nurmagomedov desired a large purse to get back in competition.

“I was with the [UFC] Fight Pass guys and they were trying to ask me for opponents for ‘GSP,’ for ideas, and I had no idea who would be [suitable] ...” Jones said on B-Team Jiu Jitsu. “They asked me in the moment and I didn’t know. I remember I said Khabib and I think they said Khabib wanted $5 million to do the grappling match. I was like, ‘Woah!’ Obviously that’s priced himself out there. Those guys would be cool to see. I’d love to train with those guys and feel what it’s like, you know?”

Several possible names have been kicked around as St-Pierre’s first opponent back on the grappling mats, but nothing yet has been confirmed. St-Pierre’s last fight came against Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in Nov. 2017 when he defeated “The Count” via a third round rear-naked choke to become the new Middleweight champion.

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