ABU DHABI – When UFC President Dana White and Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov met behind closed doors on Friday, a handful of potential names to retire were discussed. Former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre was not among them.
UFC lightweight contenders Connor McGregor, Dustin Poire, Michael Chandler, Dan Hooker and Charles Olivera were among the potential opponents returning for Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC). However, Saint-Pierre (26–2 MMA, 20–2 UFC) was not brought in as that ship has been sailed as neither fighter is willing.
“Nope” White said on Saturday at UFC at the ABC1 Post-Fight News Conference. “GSP never came. (Nurmagomedov) is not interested in that fight. After what I hear today, neither is GSP. So, it’s over. “
Nurmagomedov and Saint-Pierre had expressed interest in fighting each other in the past. Following his 29–0 record-winning victory over Justin Gethje at UFC 254 last October, Narmamgomedov removed Saint-Pierre’s name as a perfect rival for his 30th bout.
After Nurmgomedov’s retirement, Saint-Pierre avoided the question of whether he had accepted the fight or not and Narmgomedov had not announced his retirement inside the cage.
As to what’s next for Nurmagomedov, White revealed during the UFC 1 broadcast of UFC that the champion would make a final decision after UFC 257 on 23 January. He wants to see if a performance jumps on him and makes him itch to come. Back for number 30.
Nurmagomedov will fly to Las Vegas next week. After the conclusion of UFC 257, White will follow suit. The two are expected to have dinner and shortly thereafter discuss Narmmagomedov’s final decision. This time, White hopes that he will eventually give her a yes-or-no answer.
“He was cornering on Wednesday and then he left,” White said. “He leaves and goes to Vegas. I’ll have a fight and I’ll return home on Sunday, and see him again in Vegas. Those fights would have played outside. He and I are going to hook up and go to Vegas for the night. Going to eat and talk again. We will decide. One thing he said is, ‘I will not divide.’