GSP: Why UFC won't give me the fight I want
Former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre, 37, did an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Submission Radio. The UFC proposed a headliner vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 230 on November 3 at Madison Square Garden. GSP declined, and now Diaz fights Dustin Poirier.
“They asked me for fighting Nate Diaz in September, but I’m not ready in September," said GSP. "And not only am I not ready, I’m not very excited to fight Nate Diaz. I need to fight something that excites me.”
He said November or UFC 231 on December 8 in Toronto, Ontario would be better. But there was more.
“What excites me is, what can I have to have to improve my legacy? What can I do to improve my legacy? That’s the number one," he explained. "And also the money, but legacy is number one. Money is there. In terms of Nate Diaz, they asked me Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz legacy is not really an improvement for me because people they see me as a winner already, and if I win they will say I look like a bully because I beat his older brother. In terms of money, yes, it’s going to be big money because Nate Diaz is a big name, but I need to fight a guy that will help me improve legacy, and money as well. I’m not… I’m at the point in my career now where I only have a few fights left.”
“At 40 years old I’m done for sure. I’m not going to fight in a cage at 40 years old. I’m gonna be a grown man, I’m gonna be past that no matter what happens.”
In addition to nixing Diaz, GSP also said Anderson Silva isn't a realistic opponent right now.
"This fight was interesting at a certain point when I had a lot of contenders in my division," said St-Pierre. "And this fight, if it would have been made, I wanted it to be made with extra performance drug testing, which UFC was not a fan about because they didn’t want VADA to be a part of it – before USADA was a part of it – and also a catchweight. That was my thing. Because as a fighter, you cannot cut, you know? It’s very hard if you’re an active fighter competing every few months to go up and then go down, and I didn’t want to do that. And I guess I wanted to do (the fight) with the extra testing. They didn’t have the testing at the time, and that’s why this fight also never happened. And at the time right now I don’t think it’s a good win-win situation for me because I have a lot more to lose than to win fighting right now against Anderson Silva.”
While Diaz and Silva didn't excite GSP, he would like to fight the winner of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. former champ champ Conor McGregor at UFC 229 on October 6, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I would be interested in that fight," said GSP. "That’s a win-win situation. It’s a legacy upgrade and it’s good money. It’s gonna be a big fight. Yeah, however, I fought at 170, I relinquished the title and I fought at 185, I relinquished the title. I don’t think the UFC will let me fight for the title at 155. They will be afraid I’ll relinquish and I’ll leave the division in ruins again.”
“From my perspective it’s a very winning situation, for the UFC it’s a big risk for them. And like I said, I’m older. 155, I know Khabib, I’ve met Khabib and Khabib is actually bigger than me when he’s off-season. He’s a big guy.”
“He’s a great fighter, but in terms of size, he walks around 195. Right now I’m less than 185. I’m 183, 185. I’ve always been like that, my natural fit weight. But yeah, 155, I think I could make it. I never tried it, I’m not a fan of big weight cut, but are they gonna let me do that? I don’t know. Is it going to be for, like you say… a title would be good for the legacy, but even if it’s not for the title it would be a big fight. It would still be a legacy (fight). Maybe not as much as if it will be for a title fight, but it’s still would be against a champion. We’ll see. I don’t know. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”
GSP also offered a prediction.
“If I had to bet, If I had to put my house on it – *laughs* the biggest one – I would have to choose Khabib over Conor," he replied. "Khabib never lost, he never lost, and Conor has lost before. He’s lost on the ground. He has a few losses and he lost on the ground. That’s where Khabib is good, that’s where Khabib is more competent. However, Khabib is sometimes a slow starter and he gets punched a lot (like in the Michael Johnson fight). Yes, he didn’t look good in the beginning of that fight. And it’s hard sometimes to close distance, he had a problem to close the distance. But once he’s got you in the clinch he’s very good. So, I believe the chance, the house goes in Khabib’s favor, maybe."
GSP Tour Aus Dates:
Sydney - Tuesday 7th August 6pm at The Star Event Centre
Melbourne - Saturday 11th August 6pm at Melbourne Convention Centre
Brisbane - Sunday 12th August 6pm at The Brisbane Convention Centre.
Tickets available via gsplive.com.au