Georges St-Pierre is retired but that doesn’t mean he’s not willing to listen to options.
The former two-division UFC champion announced on Thursday that he was calling it a career after putting together an incredible resume including title runs at both welterweight and middleweight.
Prior to his announcement, St-Pierre revealed that he was originally pursuing a fight against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov before ultimately deciding to retire from the sport.
“My agent was talking to UFC, we tried to organize the fight with Khabib. I know Khabib wanted it and I want it but the UFC had other plans,” St-Pierre stated.
As disappointing as it was not to land the fight he wanted, St-Pierre understood that the UFC is a business and allowing him to face the lightweight champion knowing that he probably wasn’t going to stick around to defend the title was a difficult proposition.
St-Pierre added that facing someone like Nurmagomedov is the only kind of fight he was interested in taking because it would allow him to add another accolade to his Hall of Fame worthy resume.
Just after news broke that St-Pierre planned to retire on Thursday, Nurmagoemdov took to Instagram in hopes of luring him back for one more fight against him in November.
“For a fighter where I am in my career right now, the most exciting thing [which] is also the scariest thing to do is to fight an opponent who seems invincible. Khabib is that guy right now. That’s why I wanted to fight him,” St-Pierre said. “It was a fight that could elevate my legacy. I knew he wanted to fight me.
“This message excited me but unfortunately it takes two fighters and also the organization to make the fight happen and the UFC has other plans for Khabib. I wish him the best of luck. I remain a big fan and I look forward to his next fight. I’m sure he’s going to do great.”
When it comes to mixed martial artists who have walked away from the sport, retirement typically only seems to last as long as the next best option that is made available.
In St-Pierre’s case, he’s been fortunate enough to earn enough money that he doesn’t have to fight again but even he can’t say with 100-percent certainty that if UFC president Dana White called him with a great offer to face Nurmagomedov in the future that he would shut him down.
“If ever something happened and Dana called me back with something interesting, we’ll see,” St-Pierre said. “Like a movie scenario — oh he’s coming back! But we’ll see. Right now I’m not thinking about it.”
St-Pierre said during the latter part of his career, he learned to treat the sport more like a business than his early days where he was just committed to fighting anyone, anywhere, at any time.
That’s why as much as he’s certain about his retirement today, St-Pierre can’t tell what might happen tomorrow or six months down the road if a great business proposal was made to him.
“When you make a business offer it’s now. You take the business offer yes or no. You don’t take it, OK. You can’t say in a few months ‘hey your business offer finally I want to accept it’. No, it’s now, you take or your refuse, that’s how you do business,” St-Pierre explained. “In MMA, that’s a business game, too. It became for me a business game. First I started doing it because I loved it but I have my agents that take care of that for me.
“I don’t know where I will be, mentally the state of mind I will be in my life or where I will be in a few months. I don’t know. For me it’s retire now. I don’t think about nothing else.”