Georges St-Pierre declares Islam Makhachev ‘best pound-for-pound’ fighter in the world

Georges St-Pierre is considered one of the best fighters of all-time. Right now, he doesn’t think there’s anyone better than Islam Makhachev.

The reigning lightweight champion racked up another thrilling title defense at UFC 302, outlasting a gutsy Dustin Poirier and submitting “The Diamond” in the fifth round. That’s now 14 straight wins for the indomitable Makhachev, who sports a 26-1 record overall and currently sits atop MMA Fighting’s Pound-for-Pound rankings.

Speaking to coach Firas Zahabi, St-Pierre was asked if Makhachev could someday follow in the footsteps of the legendary two-division champion, and to which St-Pierre responded with the highest praise.

“He’s amazing,” St-Pierre said. “I think right now he’s the best pound-for-pound right now because of his last few performances. Just amazing.

“An amazing showcase of heart too, because he had a bad cut on his forehead, and Poirier gave him a tough time. Pushed the pace to the edge and I think that that fight is going to make Makhachev even better because these are the fights that make you grow.”

St-Pierre had a similarly gaudy record when he retired from competition in 2019. He won 26 of his 28 pro fights, and avenged his two losses to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra in emphatic fashion. Along the way, he became known for both his lopsided victories and his ability to battle back from adversity.

Should Makhachev lose anytime soon, St-Pierre won’t be surprised, but on paper he doesn’t see anyone with a better set of tools than the lightweight king.

“I think in terms of skill, Makhachev right now is the best fighter, but that doesn’t mean if you’re the best that you always win,” St-Pierre said. “There’s a lot of other factors outside of our control that can influence the result. But I think Makhachev is the best, but even the best can lose sometimes.”

St-Pierre was then asked flatly if Makhachev could someday stand among the legends of the sport besides names like St-Pierre, contemporary Anderson Silva, and Makhachev’s mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov.

As St-Pierre sees it, he’s on the right track.

“I think he’s already starting to get to that status because beating Volkanovski and now his last two performances are amazing,” St-Pierre said.

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