In a new interview with ESPN it’s evident that returning to the Octagon for a superfight against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is still very much on the mind of retired UFC legend Georges St-Pierre.
However, it’s also clear that the former two-division champion is still wrestling with whether it’s worth the risk at 39-years-old.
“Why step back in? But why not step back in?” St-Pierre mused on TSN. “We only live once. That’s the question that I’m facing now, you know? If I have an opportunity to do it and all the stars align and I don’t do it – because I’ve still got it now. I’d say I’m in my best years. Will I regret, when I reach 50 years? … I don’t know.”
St-Pierre went on to suggest that he was already happy with his body of work, which leaves him questioning whether it’s such a good idea – and who could blame him, having already won both the UFC welterweight and middleweight titles, and bowed out on a 13-fight winning streak, leaving him firmly in the debate to be considered the greatest MMA fighter of all-time.
“I’m kind of satisfied,” St-Pierre said. “Do you know what I mean? Satisfaction for the athlete is the death. You’re done. You’re finished when you’re satisfied. In order to come back, I’m in a mental state of mind where I’m not sure. The stars would need to be aligned perfectly.”
That theme of the stars having to align is one that he returns to often during the interview.
“[Two] years ago, when I retired, we tried to make the fight happen. I was all-in. I was trying to make the fight happen. And the UFC didn’t want to do it. Now, two years have passed by. I don’t know if the UFC is gonna change their mind. Even if the UFC wants to make the fight, they change their minds, the stars have to align.”
Though he has reservations it’s clear that St-Pierre has given the matter a lot of thought, and has highlighted the weight at which they would fight at as being one of his primary concerns.
“I haven’t cut weight for a long time. If I go down to 155, my performance will be compromised. I know Khabib is about the same size as me. He’s maybe bigger than me when he’s offseason. I never go up to 200. I’m at 185. That’s turned to his advantage. If we cut more weight, he’s able to bounce back more than I am. He’s used to it. I’ve never been a big fan of cutting weight. Even when I was a welterweight, I was 185. Most guys now are much bigger than 185.
“That’s one of the principles of the art of war. Know the terrain. I don’t know. I’ve never fought at 155. He knows, I believe, to make it fair, we need to fight in a place we’ve never been. Both of us. That would have to be a condition to me coming back if it happens.”