“I would be interested in negotiations with Georges”
A possible duel between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges Saint-Pierre continues to be one of the most discussed mixed martial arts in the world. Many fans around the world are eager to see the duel of the Russian champion and the legendary Canadian, who won titles in two UFC divisions during his career. Over the past year, both of them themselves have repeatedly stated their interest in the face-to-face battle, however, all talk about its organization was stopped personally by the head of the promotion Dana White.
Apparently, last week Saint-Pierre himself lost all hope of meeting with Nurmagomedov. So, the 38-year-old Canadian said that he feels great “retired” and is not going to return to the octagon again. This statement seemed to put an end to the conversation about this battle, but White unexpectedly changed his point of view.
The UFC president did not hide the fact that Tony Ferguson is still a priority rival for Habib. At the moment, the American has in his asset a series of 12 consecutive victories and like no other deserves the right to compete for the belt. In addition, they are united with Nurmagomedov by a long history of confrontation, which includes four unsuccessful attempts to organize their battle in the octagon.
“The fight between Habib and Tony should take place. We tried to organize it already four times, so I hope that this time we will succeed. That would be logical, ”White quotes MMAFighting.
After the UFC 242 tournament in Abu Dhabi, the head of the UFC openly stated that if Ferguson refuses to battle with Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor could take his place. But judging by the last words, White’s opinion on this issue has changed and Saint-Pierre is already being considered as a replacement.
“The fight with Saint-Pierre is also likely. Let's see what will happen to Tony. Previously, he had opportunities that he did not take advantage of. Therefore, if he refuses, I will be interested in negotiations with Georges, ”White admitted.
It is worth recalling that earlier the president of the UFC has repeatedly said that he does not want to organize a fight between Nurmagomedov and Saint-Pierre. In 2017, he had already arranged for the Canadian to return to the octagon and immediately allowed him to fight for the middleweight title. He prevailed over Michael Bisping, but never made a single defense. Georges referred to health problems and left the promotion.
White probably fears that Saint-Pierre might inflict Nurmagomedov’s first loss in his career, after which he will again refuse further appearances and will retire. This will not be surprising, given the age of the Canadian, as well as the fact that success in this fight will make him the only UFC champion in history in three weight categories.
UFC Conflict With Covington
While McGregor is actively promoting his alcohol brand and only hints at a possible return to the cage, Colby Covington strengthens his status as the most scandalous UFC fighter. The American has repeatedly distinguished himself with his harsh remarks about the company management and is not going to stop. So, he again accused the Absolute Fighting Championship of being forced to fight for an extremely low fee.
“The UFC is preaching slave labor. They do not seek to pay enough to any of the athletes, because they want everyone to remain poor. Therefore, they continue to return to the octagon and fight six times a year, ”admitted the athlete BJPenn.com.
According to the American, the UFC repeatedly cheated and used it, giving nothing in return.
“I earn them millions, and they just continue to put all this money in their pocket and do not want to pay me even 5% of the income. It is ridiculous that they can take 95-98% of the total amount and not give athletes more than 2-3%, ”the athlete concluded.
Covington is the first contender for the welterweight title and was due to meet champion Kamaru Usman in the near future. But because of such statements, the fight for the belt may well pass without his participation. It is worth noting that this has already happened before. Colby owned a temporary title, but suddenly withdrew from a duel with Tyrone Woodley, citing an injury. The UFC quickly found a replacement for him in the person of Darren Till, and the American from that moment began a real war with White.
“I said that I was going to organize this fight. So Covington can say whatever he wants. We make money by fighting. We come to the fighters and say: “This is what will happen next. Here is a date. Do you want this fight? ”Said White.
According to him, Covington was dissatisfied with the proposed fee for a meeting with Usman, and subsequent negotiations did not lead to anything.
“He is doing this for the second time. He also had a duel in Dallas. We said, “If you don’t want to fight Usman, we will set you against Woodley.” He also refused the battle with Tyrone. You either want to fight or not. When Covington ripens, he will let us know about it, ”the head of the UFC added.
Quarrel with Porrier
Covington did not confine himself to an open conflict with the leadership of the UFC and again harshly answered his teammate Dustin Porrier. Both athletes are engaged in the American Top Team, but recently the relationship between them can hardly be called friendly.
It all started with the previous Covington match. Most MMA representatives adhere to certain rules of conduct and very rarely agree to fight with their training camp partners. But Colby accepted the offer to fight Robbie Lawler, and thus showed that for him this code of honor does not matter.
Subsequently, Covington won a landslide victory over his former teammate, but he hardly earned respect for himself. The American Top Team reacted negatively to both his decision to take the fight with his teammate and the behavior of the ex-interim champion. So, Colby repeatedly allowed himself insults to Robbie both before and after the tournament.
One of the most dissatisfied was Porrier. After the show in Abu Dhabi, he stated that they would have a tough conversation when they met with Covington. Apparently, Colby himself is not afraid of this.
“Every day I study at the American Top Team, he knows where to find me. What happens every time we train together, he also remembers. So it’s bad to him if he decides to climb and bully to me, not having mastered his emotions and not realizing that this is a business, ”said Covington.
According to him, the ATT rules do not say that he should have been a friend for every visitor to the hall.
“We can disagree with each other and disagree, each remaining in our opinion. You stay on your part of the hall, and I on my own, ”Colby concluded.