Georges St-Pierre discusses possibility of fighting Conor McGregor
On paper, there is another fighter on the UFC's roster who could offer Conor McGregor a bigger money fight than Nate Diaz.
Considering how much of a success their first two fights were, Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz III has all the necessary ingredients for PPV gold. The build-up, the storyline, settling the score and the promise of an exciting fight would encourage fans to part with their cash in their droves.
However, Diaz elevated himself to a new level of stardom when he defeated McGregor at UFC 196. Before Diaz thrust himself into the mainstream and before McGregor even made his UFC debut, Georges St-Pierre was consistently killing it with his PPV buyrates.
After a four-year hiatus, he made his return at UFC 217. The estimated 875,000 PPV buys his middleweight title fight victory over Michael Bisping raked in proved that a lot of fans were still willing to pay to watch the legend scrap. In 2017, it was second only to the highly-anticipated rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones in terms of PPV buys.
Ever since McGregor started smashing records, that possibility of a GSP megafight has been discussed. Bisping predicted that St-Pierre would relinquish the 185 lb strap in order to pursue the fight. He's already given up the belt, but ulcerative colitis means his return date is up in the air.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier also expected a McGregor call-out from his Tri Star training partner that never came. While Freddie Roach, who cornered GSP at UFC 217, admitted hoping that GSP's swansong fight would come against 'The Notorious'.
The fact that the promotion filmed St-Pierre in the crowd during UFC 196's headliner also suggests the big wigs had this fight on their radar.
Off the table?
Once his condition stabilises, St-Pierre wants to step back into the Octagon. However, as he explained on the MMA Hour, money wouldn't be a huge incentive to take another bout. He wants to add to his legacy. With that in mind, the McGregor fight appears to be off the table for now.
“The thing is, Conor McGregor, money-wise, I believe is the one that can put the most money on the table. However, I think legacy-wise, I don’t think he’s the guy that legacy-wise."
“I mean, money-wise, for people who are not huge fans of MMA, they know who Conor McGregor is. He’s the main guy, he’s the guy who brought the sport to a different level. He’s, I would say, the most charismatic guy. He sells, the biggest seller in the sport. But talk about legacy. If I come back for legacy, that’s what interests me the most, more than the money. Money, yes, it’s good, but if I come back, it would be more for a legacy match.”
Diego Sanchez wants McGregor and GSP to slug it out for, at the time of writing, non-existent 165 lb championship. Beating McGregor to becoming the UFC's first ever three-weight world champion would surely add to his legacy. Whether or not the UFC want to dilute the talent pool at welterweight and lightweight to get this division going remains to be seen.