Hardly anyone would disagree that a blockbuster match-up between former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre and current UFC lightweight titleholder and former featherweight champ Conor McGregor would be a record-setting event.
St-Pierre, however, insists it’s not a fight that is on his radar, as he doesn’t think it helps his legacy. At the same time, his longtime coach, Firas Zahabi, would love nothing more than for the fight to happen, as he believes it would be bigger than the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing spectacle.
“The thing is, Conor McGregor, money-wise, I believe is the one that can put the more money on the table. However, I think legacy-wise, I don’t think he’s the guy that legacy-wise (helps me),” St-Pierre said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour.
“I mean, money-wise, for people who are not huge fans of MMA, they know who Conor McGregor is. He’s the main guy. He’s the guy who brought the sport to a different level. He’s, I would say, is the most charismatic guy. He sells, the biggest seller in the sport. But talk about legacy, if I come back I want it for legacy, that’s what interests me the most, more than the money. Money, yes, it’s good, but if I come back, it would be more for a legacy match.”
St-Pierre certainly added to his legacy by returning in November of 2017, following several years on the sidelines, to take the UFC middleweight title from then-champion Michael Bisping. He became only the fourth fighter in UFC history to capture a title in two different weight classes. McGregor is one of the other three, but also the only one to have held two UFC titles simultaneously.
Shortly after St-Pierre won the middleweight title, he notified the UFC that he was vacating the belt, insisting that he needed to deal with a health issue called ulcerative colitis, and he didn’t want to keep the middleweight title in limbo during his recovery. Though he insists he is likely to fight again, St-Pierre isn’t sure if he would fight again at middleweight, return to welterweight, or perhaps even step all the way down to lightweight.
Whatever he does, he wants it to be something that gets him emotionally vested and adds to his legacy. St-Pierre just doesn’t think McGregor fits that bill.
“For me, now that I’m at the end of my career, it needs to be something that excites me, something that is a win-win situation that can elevate me.”
Zahabi, however, is extremely vested in a St-Pierre vs. McGregor match-up. Though he doesn’t cite St-Pierre’s legacy, Zahabi sees that value in the fight, believing it would be not only the biggest fight in UFC history, but also bigger than Mayweather vs. McGregor.
“Two huge names,” Zahabi said in an interview with FightHub TV. “I would love the fight to happen. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think the size difference and Conor’s got to defend the belt sooner or later. They can’t fight for a middleweight title, that would be considered crazy.”
Still, the magnitude of the fight, if it did come together, is something that Zahabi can’t ignore and realizes that fans would relish.
“I think it would just be a megafight that the fans want to see. It would just be a super-megafight that everybody in the world would want to see,” said Zahabi.
“I think it would be a bigger fight than Mayweather-McGregor. I think it would be the biggest fight in history and, for sure, everybody would want to see it. I don’t make the fights, but if I did, that would be one I’d make.”
St-Pierre, in his interview on The MMA Hour, said that he is recovering well from his health issues, but needs to take some time to make sure that it doesn’t recur. If it doesn’t, he wants to continue his resurgence and continue to build upon his legacy. He’s not sure exactly what form that might take, but St-Pierre is still not ready to close the door on his UFC career.