It looks as though Georges St-Pierre and the UFC could be headed to a legal battle, as the company has announced it does not consider the fighter a free agent, like he recently claimed.
On Monday, St-Pierre buzzed the MMA world by announcing on “The MMA Hour” that his lawyer has terminated his contract with the UFC. According to the former welterweight champ, the promotion failed to meet a deadline his team had set for a bout offer, and as a result, his lawyer has terminated his contract.
The UFC has responded, and as most likely knew would be the case, the promotion isn’t on the same page with St-Pierre (statement via MMA Fighting.com):
“Georges St-Pierre remains under an existing agreement with Zuffa, LLC as his MMA promoter. Zuffa intends to honor its agreement with St-Pierre and reserves its rights under the law to have St-Pierre do the same.”
All this has gone down after St-Pierre announced several weeks ago that he wants to make a comeback. In addition, the Canadian entered USADA’s testing program as a means to facilitate his return.
St-Pierre has also repeatedly said, however, that he needs a new contract in order to fight again. The reason being that his contract was negotiated several years ago, before the Reebok uniform agreement was in place. Since St-Pierre has clothing endorsements, he stands to lose money as a result of the Reebok deal. According to GSP, talks were progressing with now former owner Lorenzo Fertitta, but once the UFC was sold, the negotiations stalled.
So, it will be interesting to see what unfolds next. Old school fans will remember Randy Couture went to court with the UFC as a result of his contract dispute with the promotion. Ultimately Couture returned to the Octagon.