Georges St-Pierre answers how he’d fare against Leon Edwards, Kamaru Usman, and Khabib Nurmagomedov


Georges St-Pierre still knows how to analyze and break down the best fighters in the world, even in retirement.

The former UFC two-division champion was in attendance at the fan Q&A , ahead of UFC Paris. He was asked about his performance against three other top fighters: Leon Edwards (current welterweight champion), Kamaru Uman (top-ranked Pound for Pound fighter) and Khabib Nurmagomedov, a lightweight great.

In his response, St-Pierre described what each star’s greatest attribute is.

“It’s hard because they all have great qualities,” St-Pierre said. “They’re all very different. Leon would have given me a lot of trouble because he’s very smart. This would have felt like playing chess. It would have been a hard puzzle to solve because it would be a very technical fight.

“Kamaru has a strong physique, is athletic and is a true beast. He’s strong, he hits very hard, he’s a great wrestler. It would be very tough physically, very demanding.

“Khabib is a legend in terms of his knowledge, his experience. His arsenal is extensive. This would have been a great fight. I don’t know what it would have turned out to be. I don’t know. It’s not the best fighter that wins the fight, it’s the fighter that fights the best the night of the fight, so to beat them I would have needed to be the best man of the night of the fight and be very, very well prepared.”

St-Pierre and Nurmagomedov had openly talked about fighting one another in the past, with St-Pierre widely regarded as one of the greatest champions in MMA history and Nurmagomedov earning his own spot in GOAT discussions with a run as UFC lightweight champion and a spotless 29-0 pro record. These days, both appear to be enjoying retirement rather than chasing comeback fights.

On the topic of Edwards’ incredible comeback kick knockout win over Usman at UFC 278, St-Pierre offered more praise for the current champion.

“I think he won the first round and he showcased in the first round incredible skills to put Kamaru Usman on his back, mount him, take his back,” St-Pierre said. “He showcased incredible skills right there. Because he lost after each round of the second, third and fourth rounds, he was well on his way towards losing round five. But I think what makes Leon Edwards so good, it’s his fighting IQ.

“He’s also very good at neutralizing the strengths of his opponent. He’s very good at shutting down his opponent’s strengths and bringing the fight where he is comfortable, to make his opponent fight outside of his comfort zone, and I think that’s why Leon Edwards is so good.”

During his legendary run with the UFC from 2004-2017, St-Pierre also had a reputation for neutralizing his opponents’ strengths, whether it was forcing wrestling specialists like Matt Hughes, Jon Fitch, and Josh Koscheck to stand with him, or using his own elite wrestling to stifle dangerous finishers like B.J. Among many other notable victories, Penn, Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit.

St-Pierre was no stranger to rematches either, with Hughes, Koscheck, Penn, and Matt Serra all stepping into the octagon with “GSP” more than once. St-Pierre won his matches against Hughes and Serra. He has an insight into how Edwards and Usman may go.

“That’s what makes the beauty of the sport sort of — I mean, if you’re on the side of the winner, of course, because everything can happen,” St-Pierre said. It would be dull to know always who will win. … That night, Kamaru was winning the fight, but he made a crucial mistake that is unforgettable at this level. His mistake was to zig when he shouldn’t. Leon Edwards is the credit for his beautiful set-up, which won him the title. Now they’re going to have a rematch hopefully and we’ll see.

” But things can change and you will never face the same opponent twice. Although you can fight the exact same person twice, it is impossible to fight the same opponent twice. Each fight leaves scars. It could be for the best or for the worst and after a loss very often we see fighters, that a loss can affect their confidence, and confidence is very important for a fighter because you can have all the skills in the world but if you don’t have confidence it’s like someone who has a lot of money in his bank account but no way of accessing it. For the magic to happen, you need the skills and the confidence. So we’ll see how mentally strong Kamaru Usman is and if he comes back and wins the title, I think he’ll add up to his legacy even more. It’s going to be a hell of a fight, a hell of a challenge.”