Khabib Nurmagomedov calls Georges St-Pierre ‘very tough matchup’ if it happens

CALGARY – Although Conor McGregor is the man directly in his crosshairs, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is interested in a showdown with Georges St-Pierre some time in the future.

Nurmagomedov (26-0 MMA, 10-0 UFC) said he has nothing but respect for St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), who is a former champion in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions. “Rush” has mentioned that he thinks he would be capable of cutting down to 155 pounds, which could open the door to go for a third belt.

Nurmagomedov’s immediate future seems occupied by a likely title defense against McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), but “The Eagle” said he would be honored to fight St-Pierre. Nurmagomedov predicts a difficult outing, but like any fight, though, he would try to inflict punishment once the cage door closes.

“Georges is greatest competitor in the UFC of all time,” Nurmagomedov said Friday during a Q&A session with fans prior to UFC on FOX 30 weigh-ins. “Even if we fight, I think it’s going to be a very tough matchup for me, and for him too. I never lose round in the UFC. I think I can give him very tough match. I know you guys love him, but when cage door close I have to smash my opponents.”

While Nurmagomedov is expected to put his title up for grabs later this year, the future of St-Pierre is much more in question. The French-Canadian hasn’t fought since UFC 217 in November when he earned a submission victory over Michael Bisping to claim the 185-pound belt.

Just 31 days later, St-Pierre vacated the gold because of a health issue. He said a few months ago that he was still dealing with the lingering effects of his ailment but had every intention of fighting again, and was lean enough to potentially fight at lightweight next.

Whether a Nurmagomedov vs. St-Pierre bout ever comes to fruition remains to be seen, but Nurmagomedov said he would believe in his ability to emerge victorious.

“In my mind I think nobody can beat me,” he said.

For more on the UFC schedule, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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