Could one mixed martial arts legend be coming out of retirement to face another? Rumors are flying this week that Georges St-Pierre (GSP) could face the winner of the upcoming mega-fight between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The former champ, who has stepped into the octagon just once in the last five years, found himself having to downplay the rampant speculation after accidentally sparking it himself over social media.
It all stems from this picture that St-Pierre posted on his Twitter account this week.
Recovery time in Russian Spa in Brooklyn with @82Spaniard! pic.twitter.com/u8BJNgFprt
— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) September 2, 2018
You may have noticed that that GSP is looking slightly slimmer than when he last fought at 184 pounds at UFC 217 last November, where he defeated Michael Bipsing for the middleweight championship.
Fans sure spotted the difference, and many are now speculating that he’s shedding weight in preparation to take on the winner of the McGregor-Khabib tilt. Those two will face off at 155 pounds for the welterweight belt in early October.
“Oh, you’re coming for the 155-lb belt for sure,” responded one fan.
“He’s not svelte, he’s freaking skinny,” said another. “Obviously preparing for the winner of Conor vs Khabib.”
Not So Fast
While acknowledging that he is indeed looking for another fight which would cement his already legendary legacy, the 37-year old downplayed the suggestion that he’ll take on the winner of that tilt.
“I don’t want to sign a contract for a fight right now,” GSP said to reporters during a public appearance this week. “I don’t want to say I’m going to commit to something. The minute I do it, the mental warfare starts.”
As far as his slimmed-down figure, he says it’s down to a new partial-fasting diet after gaining weight in an unhealthy manner for the Bipsing fight.
Still, don’t expect the speculation to stop anytime soon. Consider what he told an MMA media outlet earlier this summer.
“I would be interested in that fight,” GSP said to MMA Fighting. “That’s a win-win situation. It’s a legacy upgrade and it’s good money — it’s gonna be a big fight.”
Apparently UFC boss Dana White disagrees, however. He’s previously said that he’s not interested in that fight, saying it’s “not going to happen.”
The former welterweight and middleweight has also been linked to a potential fight with Nate Diaz.
The denials haven’t stopped bookmakers from offering betting odds on the hypothetical matchups.
Many fans feel that GSP’s size, experience and pedigree would allow him to make easy work of either potential opponent, and odds makers agree.
Sports Betting Dime has installed the Canadian as a heavy favorite over both McGregor and Nurmagomedov.
Should GSP secure a matchup with the trash-talking Irishman, he’d be paying off at very short odds of 5/13, meaning a $100 bet would net you just $38 in profit. McGregor, meanwhile would be a significant 2/1 long shot.
The undefeated Russian would present a tougher challenge, according to book makers, but he would still be an underdog. If GSP and Nurmagomedov meet, the latter would be paying a 3/2 price for a win, while St-Pierre would be a 5/9 favorite.