Despite UFC legend Georges St-Pierre admitting defeat in his desire to challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov, the possibility of a fight between the two champions remains a possibility, according to Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani of ESPN this week the Russian fighter’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, said that the door isn’t closed on a potentially momentous showdown between his client and the consensus best welterweight fighter in history, saying that such is St-Pierre’s status among UFC brass that all he has to do is ask for the fight.
St-Pierre and Nurmagomedov have been continually linked with one another in recent years but talks looked to have hit a permanent roadblock last year when, apparently confronted with repeated pushback in his desire to make the fight, he announced his decision to retire from mixed martial arts.
As has been shown time and again though, retirement is often a temporary thing in the world of combat sports and Abdelaziz maintains a position that the fight can indeed come to fruition, so long as all parties are pushing in the same direction.
“He’s the greatest fighter of all time. And he’s a very good friend of mine, I love Georges,” Abdelaziz said.
“Khabib is my brother, I’m very close with him. If Georges St-Pierre wanted to fight, it’s very simple: we can make this happen.”
St-Pierre last competed in late 2017 when he won the UFC middleweight title from Michael Bisping inside Madison Square Garden before vacating the championship soon after and stated recently that the UFC were hesitant to make the booking because of the possibility of GSP defeating Khabib and once again vacating the the title.
It’s always a pleasure to share the mat with my brothers. We bleed and sweat together.
Despite this, Abdelaziz is confident that he could arrange a deal for the fight.
“You don’t think I can make this fight?” Abdelaziz said. “In 2017, Georges St-Pierre wanted to fight Michael Bisping for the middleweight title. Dana White didn’t believe him, and I got involved as a friend. I had to convince [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby to convince Dana to meet Georges.
“Georges flew to Las Vegas. I didn’t manage him, I was helping him as a friend. He had dinner with me, Sean Shelby, and Dana. Dana was like, ‘This guy don’t wanna fight’, but then 30 minutes into the conversation, Georges went to the bathroom. Dana said, ‘He’s out of his mind, he’s crazy’.
“Georges is out of his mind, he’s a little bit nutty. Georges started getting up, shouting, walking around the table and just got very emotional. He always have a chip on his shoulder, it’s real. Dana see the reality.”
Abdelaziz says his position is that nothing is impossible in the world of prizefighting and that arranging what would be a hugely-anticipated showdown requires just three things to happen before it becomes a reality.
“If Georges wants this fight to really happen, he has to do three things: Pick up the phone and call me (or) he can call Dana directly – Dana White respects Georges St-Pierre, he likes him a lot. Dana White doesn’t like too many people. Then he [St-Pierre] has to make 155 pounds, and he has to communicate.”