GSP Reflects on Missed Opportunities in Boxing and MMA

Georges St-Pierre explained why he didn't fight Oscar De La Hoya and Khabib

by Sededin Dedovic
GSP Reflects on Missed Opportunities in Boxing and MMA
© Mike Stobe / Getty Images

Georges "Rush" St. Pierre, often referred to as GSP for short, has remained deeply rooted in the world of martial arts even though he formally hung up his gloves in 2017 after defeating Michael Bisping. His career in MMA was impressive, but after laying down his belts, he began to think about other challenges.

The idea of moving to professional boxing was born, and a potential fight with the legendary Oscar De La Hoya was the subject of many conversations. However, as is often the case in the world of combat sports, the road to achieving that match was fraught with obstacles.

GSP has on several occasions emphasized his desire for a humanitarian martial arts event, where most of the earnings would be donated to charity. Fate had its own plans for Oscar De La Hoya. Although he was a legendary boxer, his career had already ended with a loss to Manny Pacquiao.

The idea of fighting GSP may have been intriguing, but it seems the circumstances were against them. Even if both men were ready for the challenge, it seems that the problems between Dana White, the head of the UFC, and De La Hoya have put themselves in the way.

Michael Bisping of England is pinned by Georges St-Pierre of Canada in their UFC middleweight championship bout during the UFC 2© Mike Stobe / Getty Images

Speaking to the "Pound4Pound" podcast hosted by Henry Cejudo and Kamaru Usman, the Canadian explained why that fight never happened.

“Oscar is 10 years older than me. There's no way he could match him boxing in his prime, but so I think with that in mind this would be a fair fight. The fight never happened because I didn't have Dana White's permission because my contract tied me to the UFC even after my MMA career ended.

He just didn't agree with it because he had his own problems with De La Hoya." Given the different issues and priorities, it seems the stars just didn't align for that spectacle. And while fans remained eager for that incredible in-ring showdown, the reality was that their paths diverged, at least for that moment.

But GSP didn't just think about boxing. Even as the UFC focused on a potential bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov, things seem to have gotten complicated there as well. Although Dana White was the proponent of that fight, both Khabib and GSP have already stepped into retirement.

With their departures from active martial arts stages, the possibility of that match ended. "Dana wanted me to fight Khabib, but he had already retired like me. Simply, we both ran out of time for that fight," concluded the always calm and composed GSP.

Georges St. Pierre celebrates his victory against Thiago Alves during their welterweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2© Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

St-Pierre is confident he can beat Khabib.

He believes that everything he has to offer is enough to defeat one of the biggest MMA beasts in history. "Khabib could probably beat me. I'm not saying I'd beat him all the time, but I could definitely do it," GSP said, adding: "I had enough confidence to accept that fight.

I thought that at a certain point I would be ready to beat him. It doesn't mean that I would win him in every fight, but I had that confidence. Khabib was good at creating distance, he drew the opponent into his game, and the most dangerous was when he presses you against the wire.

He is a master of wrestling against the wire. My style is different, I fake punches well, I know how to distract and I am more dynamic," says St-Pierre. GSP also talked about the title of the Goat, and although Khabib Nurmagomedov is officially the only undefeated of the biggest names, GSP does not see him as the best ever.

The retired Canadian, however, did not distinguish himself as the greatest ever. "When we look at the current situation, it's hard to find anyone better than Jon Jones. Jon Jones is so good and extremely talented, and on top of that, he's also very tough.

People don't realize how tough and tough he really is. I trained with him and watched him go through suffering. He is terrifyingly tough.' ' The Canadian MMA fighter has fought a total of 28 matches in his career. He has a record of 26 wins and two losses.

He is one of the most versatile fighters ever and one of the most dominant champions ever. His fight against Khabib would cause more interest and excitement among MMA fans today than it did at the time when they tried to organize this match.

Oscar De La Hoya Khabib