‘It was the perfect fight in a perfect career’: Georges St-Pierre hails ‘invincible’ Khabib Nurmagomedov but admits he was ‘surprised’ by his decision to retire after talk of a mega-fight between the two UFC legends
- Georges St-Pierre admitted he was surprised Khabib Nurmagomedov retired
- The Russian announced his victory over Justin Gaethje would be his last
- There had been talk of a mega-fight between Khabib and the retired St-Pierre
- The Canadian hailed Khabib’s perfect career and said he made the right decision
Khabib defeated Justin Gaethje early in the second round of their Saturday night fight at UFC 254 but revealed that victory was his last in MMA following the death of his father.
The Russian had previously stated that if he beat Gaethje the only fight that would interest him would be with St-Pierre, who many consider to be the true GOAT after his official retirement in 2019.
UFC legend Georges St-Pierre admitted he was surprised at Khabib Nurmagomedov’s decision to retire after defeating Justin Gaethje
The Russian beat Gaethje early in the second round but announced it would be his last fight in MMA following the death of his father
There had been talk of a mega-fight between the two legends if Khabib defeated Gaethje
‘I was surprised,’ St-Pierre told ESPN after the fight. ‘I was not expecting that at all. I thought he wanted to do, and all the people in the media said he wanted to do 30-0. That’s his choice. What a great way to finish a career. He left an incredible legacy. One of the best to have ever done it – maybe the best to have ever done it.’
Despite the possibility of a mega-fight being off the table, St-Pierre insisted Khabib had made the right decision and that he would not try to tempt him out of retirement.
‘Maybe normally I would,’ he said when asked if he would request Khabib to stick around.
St-Pierre said he would probably have asked Khabib to stick around had the circumstances been different
Khabib has retired with a perfect record of 29-0 and it was revealed he had broken his foot and had contracted mumps prior to the fight
‘But, because of the circumstances, I would never dare to do that. I mean I am not in his shoes. He’s going through a tough time becuase his father pass away and he needs time to mourn. And so because I respect Khabib a lot, what we do is a sport. But this goes beyond sport to the human side and I just want to wish him and his family the best.
‘I’m good where I am. Khabib is invincible now. He’s undefeated. It was a perfect career.
‘There’s nothing we can say bad about him. It’s a perfect career, like 29-0 and you retire on top with the best performance of his career. What do you want more? It was incredible. It was a perfect fight in a perfect career – as close as it gets.
St-Pierre’s said he was comfortable in retirement but refused to rule out a future comeback
‘I always see an athlete taking too many fights. That’s something I really don’t wish (on) someone. Khabib did an amazing decision. Like everything in life, everything has a beginning and has an end. The life of a professional athlete, even an elite athlete, has a window. If we fight past that window, that’s when the problems arrive and appear.’
St-Pierre said he is comfortable in retirement but refused to rule out making a comeback in the future.
‘I retired three years ago. It’s only people who speculate about it. You’d never say never in life. I have a different mentality than certain other people. For some people, it’s white or black. For me, it’s always gray in my life. I don’t believe there are things that are not tangible. There’s all possibility. I’ll leave the door open but for now, it’s not.’