GEORGES ST-PIERRE has revealed that the UFC blocked him from fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov back in 2018.
The Russian is due to face Justin Gaethje in October amid talk of a career-defining clash with GSP next year.
Khabib has stated his intent to see through the mega-fight, describing it as his late father’s “dream”.
UFC boss Dana White says he is open to the idea with the defending champ’s coach, Javier Mendez, calling it a “real possibility”.
Yet the public turnaround marks a dramatic shift from 2018 when GSP admitted that he was denied the chance to face Khabib.
In an exclusive interview with SunSport, he said: “Two years ago before I retired we tried to make that fight happen, and we tried everything.
“Khabib was interested, I was interested but the UFC was not and said clearly that they had other plans for Khabib and it was two years ago.
“In business when you make an offer and the person refuses you move on. I didn’t put my life on pause, I had other projects and I couldn’t do that. I had to keep working and keep living my life.
Two years ago before I retired we tried to make that fight happen, and we tried everything. Khabib was interested, I was interested but the UFC was not
“In business, you can’t go back after two years and say ‘Hey, the offer that I refused two years ago now I accept, I want to do it’.
“I don’t say that I would refuse but they have not made an offer to me. They have not come out saying, ‘Hey, we want you to have that fight’.
“Right now people get excited about nothing and I can’t stop my life thinking that this thing will happen.”
St. Pierre, 39, last fought in 2017 having earned his iconic status with a string of ten consecutive Welterweight Championship wins a decade ago.
But the Canadian recently showed how he is keeping in tip-top condition for a potential return to the octagon.
GSP did hail Khabib as the “best fighter on the planet” right now but believes the UFC would still resist any attempts to book a bout between the pair as they did two years ago.
He added: “I have doubts and I haven’t received any offers. And I don’t think for the UFC it’s in their best interest for me to go fight.
“I think they would like to keep the ball rolling inside the organisation because they know if I fight it would be my last one.
“They would probably prefer to have a guy like Conor McGregor or another guy who’s an active fighter fighting Khabib if Khabib wins against Justin Gaethje.”
In the meantime, GSP is busy promoting his new fitness program Strike on TV.fit – a “well-being application” that is helping people stay healthy.
The UFC Hall of Famer admitted he “loves to teach” and pass on his depth of MMA knowledge down to others.
He said: “All the techniques that I teach in the workouts are legitimate techniques that I use in my fights because the fundamentals are important.
“The fundamental are the most important things in combat sports, if you have good fundamentals it’s crucial to your development and success.”
Strike is available exclusively from TV.FIT on the app or at www.tv.fit