Could Khabib Nurmagomedov Have Beaten Georges St-Pierre in the UFC’s Welterweight Division?

Published 06/02/2021, 12:39 AM CDT


The debate about the greatest ever fighter in the UFC is a debate that has been raging since day one. Over the course of its existence as a leading MMA promotion, the UFC has seen the rise of multiple world champions. However, only a few have achieved things in the sport that is beyond comprehension. Therefore, it is only natural that fans pit such fighters against each other to see who did it better, and Georges St-Pierre vs Khabib Nurmagomedov is the perfect example of this. 

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Both ‘GSP’ and ‘The Eagle’ share a lot of similarities. But they’re also extremely different in a lot of ways. The glaring similarity between both men is that they used their wrestling to completely dominate all their opponents. Both men had flawless reigns as champions. Now, take a closer look at both fighters and figure out what might have happened if the two men had clashed at welterweight. 

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Georges St-Pierre vs Khabib Nurmagomedov: A closer look

The first thing to compare between both men is their wrestling. ‘GSP’ was relentless in his wrestling. He would take his opponent down multiple times and continue the ground and pound. On the other hand, once Nurmagomedov would clamp onto his opponent, they would not be getting up anytime soon. He used his weight and body locks well to suffocate his opponent and tire them out. 

‘GSP’ averaged 4.16 takedowns per 15 minutes with an accuracy of 74%. Defensively, he had a takedown defense rate of 83%. ‘The Eagle,’ on the other hand, averaged 5.32 takedowns per 15 minutes with an accuracy of 48%. Defensively, he had a takedown defense rate of 84%. 

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When it came to striking, both men were never known for their prowess on the feet. ‘Rush’ averaged 3.78 significant strikes landed per minute while absorbing 1.40 in return. ‘The Eagle’ averaged 4.10 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 1.75 in return. It is worth noting that St-Pierre has a massive six-inch reach advantage over his Dagestani adversary. 

What is the final verdict?

If the fight were to take place at 155-pounds, St-Pierre would have definitely struggled to make weight and that would have severely depleted him as well. Considering a fight at 170-pounds, ‘GSP’ would have been able to secure the win.

Both men are standout wrestlers. Nurmagomedov has a slightly better takedown defense as compared to GSP. However, in most cases when two extremely good wrestlers face each other, the fight tends to remain on the feet. In that case, not only does ‘GSP’ have a mammoth reach advantage, he is also the superior striker, which would have secured the win for him.

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Kevin Binoy

930 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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