There have been rumors swirling for more than a year about a potential superfight between reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and arguably the greatest of all time, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre. Now, UFC president Dana White has hinted that this bout may be in the works following Nurmagomedov’s title defense against Justin Gaethje in October.
Along with White’s comments that he’s open to the fight after many times shutting it down, Nurmagomedov gave us some potential insight on when this fight could occur by commenting on a Joe Rogan Instagram post on the announcement of Nurmagomedov/Gaethje.
However, after Nurmagomedov stopped Gaethje at UFC 254 in October, he abruptly announced his retirement, despite both his and his father's goal of fighting GSP before retiring at 30-0. Looking at the Khabib vs GSP odds, it would be the recently retired lightweight champ as the favorite with the Canadian UFC legend listed as the underdog.
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has released the Khabib vs GSP odds with the current lightweight champ, Nurmagomedov, as a sizable -265 favorite and the former welterweight and middleweight champ, St-Pierre, coming back as a +225 underdog.
Khabib vs GSP Odds
Odds as of November 26 at Sportsbook
Khabib vs GSP Odds Analysis
This line doesn’t make any sense to me. Yes, Nurmagomedov has been a heavy favorite in each of his last 10 fights with an average line of -412.5, so that makes sense. However, he would be competing against one of the best ever in Georges St-Pierre, who hasn’t suffered a loss since 2007, a span of 13 fights.
In his last appearance, he won the middleweight title, and he’s now fighting at lightweight! GSP hasn’t been an underdog since he was a +115 dog in a rematch with Matt Hughes at UFC 65 in 2006, a bout he won via second-round knockout.
How Will This Fight Play Out?
Nurmagomedov’s main attack is his grappling when he gets his hands on his opponents, drags them to the floor and smashes them. The native of Russia has an aggressive ground and pound, looking for the finish in that manner, or will take advantage of a submission opportunity if it arises.
His striking continues to improve, but he has been hurt a few times in striking exchanges. The Eagle has outstanding conditioning that allows him to bring the fight to the canvas late in the fight and still smash his foes.
As for the Canadian, St-Pierre is an outstanding wrestler as well but also has strong striking. Rush had been the welterweight champion for six years, defending the belt 10 times before taking four years off and returning to win the middleweight belt by submitting Michael Bisping in 2017. He has a tremendous jab that sets up heavier strikes or his double-leg takedown and he averages 4.16 takedowns per 15 minutes.
GSP turned 39 in May, which could be a bit of a concern as Khabib is just 32. Age aside, though, the only fight in which Nurmagomedov was taken down more often than his opponent was against Gleison Tibau in 2012 in a very close unanimous-decision victory. If this remains a striking match, the edge has to go to St-Pierre, but it will be very interesting to see if one can impose his wrestling skill over the other.
Prediction: Georges St-Pierre (+225) via decision
Will GSP Fight Khabib?
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has released odds on whether the fight will even take place. The Yes option is coming in at +400 with the No coming back at -600.
I think there is big value on the Yes, even though the Eagle announced his retirement and is a man of his word. Recently, he took to Twitter to send a message to UFC president Dana White and let’s get serious, the only man Khabib will come back to fight would be St-Pierre.
Short and sweet but there’s value in the odds at +400 that Nurmagomedov and St-Pierre fight in 2021 – I’ll take a shot at that!