MMA icon Georges St-Pierre and future boxing Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao share the same mentality when it comes to picking their opponents.

In combat sports, one of the main reasons legends last longer than their peers is being smart enough to know what fights matters most. In simpler terms, long-time champions know when a fight is worth taking or more of a risk.

MMA’s St-Pierre and boxing’s Pacquiao seem to have perfected the said trait. St-Pierre and Pacquiao have been receiving an array of challenges all throughout their careers. But as icons, both fighters know how to determine a fight which will be significant for their legacy.

In an exclusive interview with MMA analyst Chael Sonnen, St-Pierre spoke about the recent call out of Nate Diaz for a fight. According to St-Pierre, Nick, the older Diaz, is one of his biggest adversaries and the clash of their different personalities is interesting. However, he is now retired and has no plans of making a return.

Even if we only fought once, we are very different personalities. I think that’s why the clash of the personalities makes it very interesting. But I’m retired now, I don’t want to go back and fight,” St-Pierre explained.

But at some point during the interview, GSP then revealed the real reason why he doesn’t want to fight Nick.

“I don’t want to fight his brother, Nick Diaz, it’s not interesting for me. There’s nothing I can gain from that. The risk is not worth the reward. There’s nothing good that can come out of it,” St-Pierre exclaimed.

The former UFC middleweight champ also went straight-forward with what bigger damages the said fight could cause him. As per “GSP,” his legacy will be in a “complete disaster” if he loses.

“Even if I win, I think the odds will favour me and expect me to win, and if I lose it will be a complete disaster. I don’t want to put myself into another training camp and make all the sacrifices of a three-month training camp for that type of fight. It’s not worth it for me,” St-Pierre added.

Georges St-Pierre Johny Hendricks UFC 167
Georges St-Pierre, right, defended his UFC welterweight crown with a split decision over Johny Hendricks on Saturday night. Reuters

Same scenario happened in Team Pacquiao last month. Shortly after Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Errol Spence immediately topped the list of next possible opponents.

However, Pacquiao and his camp believe that there is nothing much to gain in beating a fighter like Spence. Pacquiao’s close friend and trainer Buboy Fernandez spoke for the champ and said that they are more focused on protecting Pacquiao’s health and legacy, Philstar Global reported.

"If we beat Spence, what will we gain? And what will happen if he ends up beating Manny? "He is close to 41. What we need to do is protect him and his career,” Fernandez said.

To this day, Team Pacquiao see Spence and Porter as a high-risk yet low-reward opponents for the ageing Pacquiao. But just recently, MP Promotions advisor Sean Gibbons revealed that Pacquiao will fight “whoever is presented” if the rematch with Floyd Mayweather will take too long.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao could have a rematch next year. In this picture, Pacquiao throws a right at Mayweather during their welterweight unification championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2, 2015. Al Bello/Getty Images