Khabib Nurmagomedov only interested in Georges St-Pierre fight after UFC 254

Ryan Young
·Writer
·3 min read

Khabib Nurmagomedov still has to get past Justin Gaethje this weekend, but the Russian champion already knows who he wants to fight next.

No, it’s not Conor McGregor.

Nurmagomedov — ahead of his bout with Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday — said on ESPN on Tuesday that he is only interested in taking on Georges St-Pierre next.

"I really become excited when I think about Georges St-Pierre," Nurmagomedov said on ESPN’s “First Take.” "I don't know if he wants to fight with me or not, can he make weight — 155 or not — but this fight makes me excited, honestly.

"And I think me vs. Georges is going to be very, very big fight. Like big fight for fans, big fight for pay-per-view, big fight for analytics, for everybody. This is only fight in UFC, after Gaethje, that makes me very excited."

Many, including McGregor himself, have hoped that Nurmagomedov would step back into the Octagon for a rematch with the iconic Irish fighter after his fight with Gaethje. Nurmagomedov, however, has repeatedly shut that — and any other potential matchup — down.

McGregor said he will fight Dustin Poirier in January. Nurmagomedov beat Poirier when those two squared off last year.

"I finished both of them, and finished in dominant position, a dominant performance," Nurmagomedov said, via ESPN. "And I'm not interested in both of those guys, because I need something new. I need new blood, new energy. Justin Gaethje gives me new motivation. He's the real deal. Right now, he's interim champ, he's very tough guy.

"If I think about both, Dustin and Conor, they don't give me good energy, they don't give me motivation. Fight for what? For my legacy? I already put these guys on my list. I already beat them. Everything is finished with these guys."

Will GSP come out of retirement for Khabib?

St-Pierre is universally considered to be one of the greatest fighters of all time, and finished his career with a 26-2 overall record. The Canadian is set to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

He last fought in 2017, when he beat Michael Bisping at UFC 217 to win his 12th straight bout spanning back to 2007.

The 39-year-old spent most of his career at 170 pounds, and would likely have to dip down to 155 to take on Nurmagomedov. Still, he hasn’t shut down the idea of coming out of retirement.

"If I come back, it would be for one fight," St-Pierre said earlier this month, via ESPN. “And I need to take, for me, the biggest fish. And the one — for me, I believe — the top guy right now, the name is Khabib.

"As a fighter, the most exciting thing is to take the guy who seems invincible, unbeatable. He has the aura of invincibility. But it's also the scariest thing to do."

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Georges St-Pierre, not Conor McGregor, is who Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to take on next. (Mikhail Metzel/TASS/Getty Images)

More from Yahoo Sports: