It's starting to make more sense why Khabib Nurmagomedov so badly wants to fight Georges St-Pierre -- it was his father's plan.
Khabib's dad, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, passed away back in July after battling COVID. Khabib and his dad were extremely close. Abdulmanap trained him since he was a little kid back in Dagestan.
Khabib will step back in the Octagon for the first time since his father's death on Saturday to take on Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 ... but he's talked publicly about wanting GSP as his next opponent.
We spoke with Khabib's trainer Javier Mendez who tells us he was with Khabib and his father in Dagestan back in 2019, when Abdulmanap talked about his dream for Khabib to fight St-Pierre.
"I was present when they had that conversation," Mendez says ... "That was the one he talked about as the fight his father would want to see … him fight GSP at 155 pounds."
"His father respected GSP probably more than anybody out of all the people he admired ... and therefore he wanted his son to fight GSP at some point."
In other words, it seems Khabib is calling out GSP in the hopes of honoring his father's wishes.
In the meantime, Javier tells us he's been incorporating Abdulmanap's training techniques for the Gaethje fight -- reminding Khabib to follow "Father's Plan."
"I've always used 'Father's Plan' because I want to honor the man who taught him everything," Mendez says.