UFC 254 wrapped up yesterday with Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje. The Russian submitted Gaethje in the second round to defend his belt. He then went on to announce his retirement during his post-fight interview.
Following this announcement, UFC legend Georges St-Pierre was Interviewed by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. The Canadian said that he was impressed by Nurmagomedov’s performance and sent him a heartfelt message.
Hey it was a masterful performance as close as you get of a perfect fight. Agian very very tough threat in Justin Gaethje. Alot of people including myself was thinking and it may be Justin Gaethje is the answer to Khabib. May be Justin Gaethje will be the perfect nemesis to Khabib because of his pedigree in wrestling and in striking. However Khabib did the, i would not say i think about Khabib is undefeated you know he is so good but no body i guess nobody think that Khabib will do that performance and it seems so easy for him and it was just amazing. said by Georges St-Pierre
Khabib beat Justin everywhere he threat him standing he threat him with wrestling on the ground and you know even at the end of the first-round Justin was in a bad, bad, bad position you know. Justin look like he was overwhelm, look like he was like panicking like he didnt know what to do like threat was coming from under from over from everywhere like it was a masterful performance.
St-Pierre then talked about the lead up to the fight and how he thought Nurmagomedov would look at UFC 254.
“Statistically speaking, It was beautiful and that’s one of the qualities of champions. When something doesnt work they switch immediately and if it doesnt work again they switch so we saw that khabib went for kata kata that it didnt work, then he went for jojo kata it didn’t work then he went for triangle choke. It was a beautiful display of his skill it was amazing.
if you look at past experiences in the fight game, these things (loosing a relative) have a negative effect on the performance of a fighter. But Khabib used it as a motivation to complete the wish of his father.”
St-Pierre then added
“What a way to finish a career. Now the doors are all open for him. He finished on top, his stock is at it’s pinnacle. He can do whatever he wants to do.
“I was suprised, I wasn’t expecting that (his retirement). But I was also suprised by his performance as well. Like I knew he was good but he went to a different gear. He left an incredible legacy, one of the best to ever to it and maybe the best to ever do it.”
He then went on to talk about what that does to the chances of Khabib and him facing off.
“I’m glad for him. I always feel sad when I see an athlete take too many fights… Khabib took a great decision. The life of a profesional athlete even an elite athlete has a window.
“I’m good where I am, Khabib is invicible now.” St-Pierre said, “It was a perfect fight in a perfect career. Normally I would (ask him to stick around) but because of the circumstances, I would never do that. I’m not in his shoes and he’s going through a tough time. He needs time to mourn his father’s death and I respect him.”
“What we do is a sport, but thus goes beyond sport, this is the human side. I wish him and his family the best. As a fan of Khabib I’m very happy about the way he left, as a competitor maybe I would’ve like to have an agreement to have a fight, to organize it for us as a fighter but also the fans. But as a human being I’m very very happy for him.”
“GSP” still has that competitive fire and would’ve liked to face Nurmagomedov but he acknowledges that some things are more important than fighting and he wishes the Russian and his family good luck in the future. Nurmagomedov did say that he would like to face St-Pierre after UFC 254 but chances are that he will not come back on his decision to retire.