UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov might not be fighting again until November, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t working on his return fight. Khabib received a nine-month suspension and $500,000 fine for kicking off the UFC 229 post-fight brawl after he had submitted Conor McGregor.
He was given an option to reduce his suspension to six months should he participate in an anti-bullying PSA, but that doesn’t seem likely. He has already balked at the idea and stated that he will not compete until his teammates that were also suspended are allowed to fight again. They received a 12-month suspension that ends in October.
Rumor of who Khabib’s next fight is have swirled like crazy since October. Everything from a rematch with McGregor and a Boxing match with Floyd Mayweather has circulated. Now that we actually have a time table for Khabib’s return the first name that has come out of his mouth is that of former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St.Pierre.
Speaking to Russian Channel Match TV, Khabib stated that he is looking to fight St. Pierre at lightweight in New York upon his return in November. This comes a few days after it was stated that St. Pierre team was looking into making a fight with Khabib happen.
“My return will be planned for around November, in New York [in Madison Square Garden]. He’s fought there before [St. Pieere], and there’s a big [Russian] diaspora,” said Khabib.
Khabib stated he thinks St. Pierre is one of the best fighters ever and that it would be interesting to fight him. This fight comes from a place of nothing but respect. St. Pierre had made this clear when talking about the potential matchup before. With Khabib talking about it as his return fight it seems like a real possibility.
The big question would be if St. Pierre could make the lightweight limit of 155 pounds. His last fight was at middleweight when he defeated Michael Bisping for the middleweight title. He has always been big for his weight class and doesn’t seem to have much weight to cut. St. Pierre has always been a professional throughout his career one would imagine he wouldn’t be talking about this fight if he didn’t feel he could make the weight.
If the fight does happen St. Pierre would be the first fighter to attempt to win a UFC title in three different weight classes. Fans that are clamoring for a rematch between Khabib and McGregor, surely aren’t happy that this is the fight that Khabib has chose to express interest in.
According to St. Pierre his team has been talking to the UFC to try and make the fight happen for a few months. No one from the UFC has spoken publicly about this fight being an option, but when two fighters the caliber of Khabib and St. Pierre express interest in fighting one another, it is hard for it to be ignored. One thing that will be interesting to see if how Khabib’s arch-rival, McGregor reacts. Unlike Khabib and St. Pierre there is no mutual respect between Khabib and McGregor.