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UFC dream fights vol.2: Khabib Nurmagomedov v Georges St-Pierre

By Peter Hanson
Khabib vs GSP

Las Vegas, March 25: It seems no matter how many times Georges St-Pierre insists he is retired the lure of competition just proves too strong and there would be no greater challenger than the fearsome Khabib Nurmagomedov.

GSP is simply a legend in the world of MMA but he has not fought since 2017 when he defeated Michael Bisping, a fight itself that followed a four-year hiatus.

Khabib, meanwhile, has steamrollered all before him and 'the Eagle' is preparing for a mouth-watering bout with Tony Ferguson.

But, should Khabib come through that unscathed, would the prospect of a showdown for the ages be too good for GSP to turn down?

In the second instalment of our UFC dream fights we would love to see series, we have taken a closer examination of Khabib and GSP's records in the Octagon.

WHY DO WE WANT TO SEE THIS FIGHT?

This fight would pit an all-time great in GSP against a modern-day great in Khabib and it is a bout MMA fans are desperate to see.

Khabib is headed for the sort of career where he can quite legitimately claim to be the greatest of all time, while GSP is also in that elite category.

With awesome wrestling skills and expert striking there are not many weaknesses in Khabib's game. GSP also has few flaws, although his advancing years – he is now 38 – would probably make Khabib favourite if these two were ever to mix it.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

As yet, no one has been able to conquer Khabib, who is unbeaten in 28 professional MMA fights. He reached the summit of UFC's lightweight division with a dominant decision win over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in April 2018 and has since defended the strap against Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

GSP is a UFC Hall of Fame shoo-in. He is a two-time welterweight champion, including nine successful defences during his second run from 2008 to 2013. In 2017, GSP defeated Bisping to become middleweight champion, which remains his last fight in the organisation.

WHAT'S THEIR MMA RECORD (W-L-D)?

Khabib: 28-0-0

GSP: 26-2-0

TALE OF THE TAPE

Khabib:

Age: 31

Height: 5' 10" (177cm)

Weight: 155 lbs (70 kg)

Reach: 70"

Leg Reach: 40"

GSP:

Age: 38

Height: 5'11" (180cm)

Weight: 185 lbs (84kg)

Reach: 76"

Leg Reach: 42"

WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT A POTENTIAL FIGHT

"Our opponent is definitely Tony Ferguson. There's no other name that deserves it. We wanted the GSP fight, but GSP didn't get along with the UFC. If the UFC and GSP can negotiate, we want to meet GSP after the Ferguson fight," Khabib said in November on the potential for fighting GSP further down the line.

"We tried to make the right fight but it didn't work," GSP told ESPN in September. "If everything is aligned contractually, as we speak now, yes, I would [come back for Khabib]."

FIGHT STATS IN UFC

Khabib:

- Khabib has a 50 per cent significant strike accuracy, with 679 of 1364 such attempts landed.

- A highly accomplished grappler, Khabib has landed 59 of his 124 takedowns attempts for an accuracy of 48 per cent.

- He lands 4.29 significant strikes per minute, and absorbs just 1.7 from his opponents. Khabib has an average fight time of 13 minutes and 56 seconds.

- In defense too, Khabib is impressive. He has thwarted 85 per cent of takedowns, and defended against 67 per cent of significant strikes.

GSP:

- GSP has connected with 53 per cent of significant strikes, landing 1,313 of his 2,470 attempts.

- A similarly astute grappler, 90 of his 122 takedown attempts have landed for a grappling accuracy of 74 per cent.

- GSP lands 3.83 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 1.5.

- He has defended 84 per cent of the takedown attempts against him, and 73 per cent significant strikes.

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Story first published: Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 18:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 25, 2020
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