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Khabib Nurmagomedov still holding out hope for legacy fight against Georges St-Pierre

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

When lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and his management team began talking to the UFC about a new contract there were several concessions they had in mind regarding his future.

One request was the undefeated Russian wanted the chance to perform alongside his friends and family at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi in September. That wish was granted with his teammate Zubaira Tukhugov being added to the card as well as his cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov being signed to the UFC.

Another clause that was added to his contract was for a potential fight against former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre if he ever decides to come out of retirement for the chance to face Nurmagomedov in the future.

St-Pierre called it a career earlier this year but mentioned when announcing his retirement that he was still interested in a potential showdown against Nurmagomedov at lightweight. St-Pierre has already held two divisional titles in the UFC and adding a third would almost certainly cement his position as one of the greatest fighters in combat sports history.

It’s definitely a fight Nurmagomedov wants as well for much the same reason.

“I don’t know about if he’s going to come back or not but if I want to make my legacy big, if I want to improve my legacy I have to beat Dustin [Poirier], I have to beat Tony Ferguson and GSP and then I can become pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter,” Nurmagomedov said on Wednesday at the UFC 242 pre-fight press conference. “This is my opinion.”

First up is Nurmagomedov’s fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 and then a possible conclusion to a long simmering feud with Tony Ferguson but St-Pierre still looms large in his mind as an opponent that would change his legacy forever.

Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdel-Aziz, who negotiated the terms of the new contract, says that St-Pierre will always be an option because he brings something to the fight that nearly no one else on the entire UFC roster can claim.

“Khabib is fighting all these guys right now, they are opponents but this guy is a legend,” Abdel-Aziz told MMAFighting last week when asked about St-Pierre.

“None of these guys are legends. Khabib wants to fight legends.”

It remains to be seen if St-Pierre could be coaxed out of retirement for a fight against Nurmagomedov assuming the UFC would put that matchup together.

Nurmagomedov is obviously interested but first things first, he has to get through Poirier on Sept. 7 when they clash in the main event at UFC 242.