When undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired at 29-0, I said that he would be back to fight GSP because he would want to adhere to his late father’s wishes for him to retire at 30-0, and for number thirty to be against Georges. We all know that Khabib promised his mother that he wouldn’t fight anymore with his Father now gone, but it is not hard to imagine that he could explain to his mother that he must adhere to his Father’s wishes for him to beat GSP and then retire 30-0.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap was more than just a parent to him, he was a mentor, a coach and a source of strength and I believe that his wishes for Khabib’s career are looming large. In my opinion, this will be the driving force that brings Khabib back to the octagon. However, with the most stacked division in all of MMA being full of contenders that are eager to battle for Khabib’s lightweight crown, who will be number thirty?
There are several intriguing, potential matchups for Khabib with the most obvious being GSP. However, there is also the cursed, Tony Ferguson fight – that fans have wanted for years – that has proven to be the most ill-fated matchup in combat sports history. There is also the Conor McGregor rematch, which would surely break all pay-per-view records. However, with all potential fights for Khabib considered, I do not think any would have the appeal for Khabib more than a fight with all time great, George’s St-Pierre.
If you have been paying attention, you would have seen GSP looking very lean as of late and he has been clear about his interest in returning to fight Khabib. Georges has said that for him to return there would need to be a major challenge – one that would add to his legacy – and Khabib is that.
Considering Khabib’s father’s wishes and what GSP has said, I am confident that Khabib will be back for number thirty and it will be against GSP, who will come out of retirement to test himself against the most dominant lightweight in MMA history. This fight will likely be at a catch weight of 160 or 165, and therefore will not be a lightweight title defense. If this fight happens, I believe it will be the biggest fight in MMA history.
With this matchup in mind, who wins? I will dig into this fight much deeper when the fight gets made, but my money is on Khabib: his mental strength, iron chin, and ability to push an incredible pace will be too much for an aging GSP. If Khabib comes back, who do you think #30 will be against, and if it is GSP, who do you think will get the win?