Monday, October 17, 2016

Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, and said he is no longer under contract with the UFC.

“You heard it right,” said GSP, as transcribed by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “I’m a free agent.”

“The reason I wanted to go back and fight is because i feel right now that I’m at my best. I’m truly confident I can beat the guys that are champions right now. I’m that confident. At least I’m a free man. Now, I know I’m free. I have other options. I’m not caught up legally with a contract. I’m a free man.”

St-Pierre said his attorney James Quinn terminated his UFC contract after the league did not meet a deadline to offer him a fight. There is no confirmation from the UFC; an attorney declaring a contract null and void is not the same thing as a contract being null and void.

The fighter said he had been working on a new deal with former CEO Lorenzo Fertitta when the UFC sold to WME-IMG, and that the new owners pulled the deal.

“I think we were close to an agreement toward the end, until the big news arrived, and the news was the UFC had gotten sold to new owners,” said St-Pierre. “We were told that everything was put on ice until the new owners take charge.”

“It was like a shock. Because we felt like we were making progress, we were almost there. When they told us that, I got angry.”

That was when he hired Quinn who set the deadline. The UFC offered Robbie Lawler, but Lawler is taking time off, so Quinn apparently informed the fighter that his contract was terminated! The fighter declared he is free to sign with whatever promotion he wants to, but said he wanted to take a little break after an emotionally draining few months of negotiation.

GSP says he was told by the UFC that they would have to take a financial risk in re-introducing him to the sport. It was not clear if that response was in response to a large purse demand from the fighter, who was confident he could sell out UFC 206 in Toronto.

“I don’t take it personal,” St-Pierre said. “I found it a little bit funny to tell you the truth. I know it’s a lie. Sometimes I start to ask myself if they started to believe what they’re saying.

“To [come back], it would have been a win-win situation. I think now what happened with this situation, the biggest loser is the fans. I’m a loser. The UFC is a loser. Even the UFC is a loser. They would have made good money.”

“I was very pumped up a few weeks ago when we talked,” St-Pierre said. “Now, I’m not as pumped up as I was. I’m entering unknown water, unknown territory. I just don’t know what’s gonna happen.”

In all likelihood what is going to happen is in fact well known – GSP’s negotiations with the league continue.