One reason GSP believes the UFC never booked the fight was because they didn’t want to risk him winning the bout.
“I know Khabib wanted to have that fight, I want it, but the thing is, if you look from the UFC’s side, I think it’s normal if I put myself in their shoes,” St. Pierre told Ariel Helwani of ESPN (via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “They didn’t want to take the risk of me winning the title and then after vacating again. I didn’t even want it for the title, I would rather do it not for a title. For me, it was because I considered Khabib, right now, the best fighter in the world, and he wanted to fight me as well so I thought it was a good fan fight.”
The former two division champion finds it complimentary that the UFC didn’t book the fight to avoid the risk of him winning.
“In a way, I could take that as a compliment because maybe they saw me as a threat for them. That means maybe they thought I could win the fight. If they let me fight him, it’s because they think I would have lost. So that’s why,” says St. Pierre.
While Nurmagomedov is expected to face the winner of Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje this Fall, while GSP has retired from MMA competition.