UFC president Dana White is not willing to entertain Georges St-Pierre challenging the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor.
Nurmagomedov’s undisputed UFC lightweight title will be on the line when he and McGregor headline UFC 229 on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.
St-Pierre returned from a near-four-year hiatus last year to move up to middleweight and immediately take the title from Michael Bisping. Despite assuring White that he would defend the belt if he won, St-Pierre, citing health issues at the increased weight, vacated the title a few weeks later and hasn’t fought since.
He has, however, expressed interest in challenging the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor for the lightweight title, further adding to his legacy.
White isn’t buying.
“I’m not interested in that fight. He knows that and I’ve told him many times,” White said on The BBC MMA Show recently. “He was the 170-pound champion, he moved up to 185 pounds to take on Michael Bisping and put in his agreement that he would absolutely defend the title at 185 and then just dumped the title. I’m not interested.”
White understands what St-Pierre is doing and doesn’t fully fault him for it. St-Pierre ruled the welterweight division for years, defeating all comers, but now, as he nears a self-imposed career deadline of 40 years of age, the 37-year-old Canadian only wants fights that add to his legacy.
Although it would have made him a truckload of money, St-Pierre shot down a proposed match-up with Nate Diaz because he didn’t feel it fit the bill for solidifying his place in UFC history.
“Georges St-Pierre is looking for one-off fights where he can make a lot of money, which it’s smart, that’s what he should do, but we’re not interested in that,” White continued.
“I’m interested in Georges St-Pierre coming back at 170 [pounds], not at 155 pounds.”
As he did when negotiations for the Bisping bout hit a rough patch, White doubts that St-Pierre really wants to fight. In fact, he’s not sure that he’ll ever return to the Octagon again, despite his success against Bisping in 2017.
“I don’t know. He’s not too excited about fighting or defending his title or anything like that. I don’t know if he’ll ever fight again.”