Former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre wants to fight again, but he doesn’t have a lot of gas left in the tank. For the reason, he’s hoping his last forays into the Octagon will be truly special.
“I don’t have much left,” St-Pierre said on a Monday appearance on the JRE MMA Show (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “And for what I have left, I want to make the big fight, the fight that the fans want to see, want to enjoy. I want, personally for me, to achieve something that is unique, that is rare, that maybe has never been attempted before. That would be something that excites me. And I’m not only driven by money. It’s good to have money, we like money, it drives us all, including myself, but it’s not the unique thing that drives me. There needs to be more than money. There needs to be some kind of achievement that comes with that would excite me.”
Nate Diaz, who St-Pierre was briefly expected to fight at UFC 227 this summer, apparently didn’t tick the boxes listed above.
“I considered [the fight with Diaz]” St-Pierre said of this rumored matchup. “And I analyzed it, and I talked with Firas [Zahabi], with my trainer and everybody. We were all on the same page on that, it’s not worth it.
“Nate Diaz is an incredible fighter, he’s very well-rounded,” the former champion continued. “However, if you put yourself in my shoes, there’s nothing good that can come out of it except money, and money is not the only thing drives me. If I beat Nate Diaz decisively, most people will say, ‘Ah, he took an easy fight,’ or whatever. The critics will say, ‘He’s a bully. He fought a smaller guy.’ Maybe he’s not even smaller than me. A lot of 155er guys are bigger than me right now. He’s a big guy. He’s about the same size as me, but because I competed at 170 for most of my career, it will make me look bad. It will make me look like a bully, and this is if I win decisively.
“If I win and it’s like a war, back and forth, people will say, ‘Ah, you suck.’ And if I get beat, oh my God, forget it. For my legacy, it’s the end of the world. All of the work I put in is finished. And I could have a bad day.
“Everything I do, I go further and further. That’s why I didn’t want to fight Nate Diaz, because if I fight Nate Diaz, it’s been done before. It’s not exciting for me. And I would be going into that fight satisfied, and if I do that, it’s very dangerous. I want to do something like … 155, I never did it before, [getting that] title. Or beating a certain guy that he’s on a freaking rise.”
When it comes to fighters on the “freaking rise,” none really hold a candle to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut with a 26-0 record — who also happened to call Georges St-Pierre out.
“It could be Khabib,” St-Pierre said of a potential matchup with Nurmagomedov.
“The thing is, with Khabib, he called me out,” St-Pierre added. “Physically, now is not a good time for me. I need to wait a little bit. However, I feel the 155 division now, it’s Conor [McGregor], the champion, there’s [Tony] Ferguson but I think Ferguson is out, and there’s other guys too, but those are the two guys: Conor and Khabib. But Khabib now I think is the champion, but he needs to fight maybe Conor.”
What do you think the future holds for Georges St-Pierre?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/24/2018.