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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Georges St-Pierre is the fight to make

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Daniel Cormier Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

When Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor at UFC 229, it did more than just give him his biggest win ever, it also finally put to bed the specter “Notorious” cast over the UFC’s lightweight division for the last two years. Now, unencumbered by the question of when “the real champ” might return, the 155-pound division is free to get back to business as usual.

Or is it?

Having just dominated the biggest star in the sport, on the biggest stage, and making the biggest headlines of the year afterwards, Khabib is now a household name and, arguably, one of the biggest stars in the UFC aside from McGregor. Big stars tend to want big fights and while all logic and reason would have Nurmagomedov defend his title against Tony Ferguson next, rumors abound that the UFC is looking at a superfight with Georges St-Pierre instead. And while fans may not love that idea, some people are all for it, including UFC double champ and Nurmagomedov teammate, Daniel Cormier.

“Khabib has a number of options,” Cormier said recently on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Tony is great. I don’t dislike Tony Ferguson at all. I think he’s a phenomenal fighter, this dude’s a beast. I think he’s the tougher matchup for Khabib but I say do Khabib vs. Georges St-Pierre. That’s the fight. It’s big.”

Of course that leaves Tony Ferguson in the lurch. He and Nurmagomedov have been scheduled to fight each other on four separate occasions, but the two have never managed to stand across the cage from one another. Given Nurmagomedov’s managers recent social media posts, it seems like a fifth scheduling is not coming anytime soon. One bright spot for Ferguson though is that at least Khabib won’t be putting his lightweight title on the line. Cormier says that a superfight between Khabib and GSP would be held at a 165-pound catchweight.

“Matchup wise, Tony, tough, GSP, super tough; but the history and the matchup of a GSP fight, at 165. . .” Cormier said. “It doesn’t have to be for a belt. This is a big enough fight that it doesn’t have to be for a title. Make it a catchweight fight. When you’ve got names like Khabib and Georges, it can be for anything. Let those guys fight.”

St-Pierre is one of only five men to win titles in multiple divisions in the UFC. He most recently won the UFC middleweight belt with a submission victory over Michael Bisping last year. He then relinquished the title to manage health issues but as recently as this summer said he would be interested in a fight with Khabib. A win over St-Pierre would be an enormous feather in Nurmagomedov’s cap and give him a non-official claim at being the UFC’s first three-division champion. But first he’d have to get the job done, something Cormier thinks would be possible but incredibly difficult.

“Khabib wins but this is his closest fight ever because you don’t just control Georges St-Pierre,” concluded Cormier. “But you’re asking me a loaded question because I’m never gonna say Khabib’s gonna lose.

“I think it’s a five-round decision. You don’t finish Georges St-Pierre, unless you are Matt Serra.”

Daniel Cormier defends his UFC heavyweight title this Saturday against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


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VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour.

Embedded 1.

Devin Clark getting attacked with Wolverine claws.

TTTHS.

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LISTEN UP

The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC 230, Anthony Smith, and MMA trades.

Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC Moncton plus Frank Trigg and Din Thomas.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Wow. Just wow.

View this post on Instagram

Very nice to meet you @rterdogan #Turkey #Alhamdulillah

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

Come on, man.

Ali with the respectful disrespect.

An impressive run, no doubt.

Vettori coming out about getting popped by USADA.

Injured.

Truth.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Erik Perez (18-6) vs. Andres Ayala (12-6); Combate Americas, Nov. 17.

Andre Arlovski (27-17, 1 NC vs. Walt Harris (11-7); UFC 232, Dec. 29.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Rumor is that Khabib-GSP is in the works, possibly for 165 belt. If that happens, it’s both a huge fight, and an abomination. I’m all for it. Let’s burn this MFer to the ground.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who does Khabib fight next?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    GSP
    (580 votes)
  • 1%
    Conor
    (28 votes)
  • 43%
    Tony
    (735 votes)
  • 20%
    Come on, man. You know the Tony fight will fall through and he’ll face Anthony Pettis or something
    (341 votes)
1684 votes total Vote Now

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