A grappling match between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre has been talked about for quite some time, and before that it was a potential MMA fight between the two. Of course, Nurmagomedov famously retired rather abruptly at UFC 254 and he hasn’t looked back since. Not only has he sworn off a return to professional MMA competition, but he’s showed no desire to compete in any other combat sport either and he’s focused much more on his coaching and promoting careers.
With MMA firmly off the cards, fans have been pushing for the grappling match between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre even harder. It isn’t just outsiders either, as St-Pierre has openly said that he’d be willing to take on the challenge. That’s only half of deal done though, and Nurmagomedov is the one who’s been dead against the idea from the very beginning. He’s shut down the grappling match publicly, and UFC president Dana White has declared his failure in attempting to book his return to combat sports too.
Craig Jones recently revealed in an episode of El Segundo podcast with Gunnar Nelson that the truth might be slightly different to what fans have been told. Instead of turning down the match outright, Nurmagomedov reportedly wanted something the UFC wasn’t willing to give:
“I remember I was with the (UFC) Fight Pass guys and they were trying to ask me for opponents for GSP (Georges St-Pierre), for ideas, and I had no idea who (it) would be… They asked me in the moment, I was like ‘I dunno…’ but I remember obviously I said Khabib (Nurmagomedov). I think they said Khabib wanted 5 million dollars to do the grappling match. I was like ‘whoa, obviously that’s priced himself out there’. Those guys would be cool to see.”
Jones echoes the sentiments of a lot of fans, and a match between Nurmagomedov and St-Pierre would undoubtedly be one of the biggest grappling matches the UFC could make. Realistically though, BJJ is still a relatively niche sport and it’s incredibly unlikely that anybody will get paid $5 million for a single match at any point in the near-future. Gordon Ryan signed the biggest contract in the sport’s history and even that was for seven figures spread across multiple fights.