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Georges St-Pierre Announces He’s a Free Agent; UFC Disagrees

You had to know the UFC wouldn’t just let this happen without a fight.

Former UFC Welterweight champion and MMA legend, Georges St-Pierre, told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani’s that he was no longer under contract with the UFC, stating he was out of his contract and now a free agent. The news flooded social media after airing on Helwani’s Monday edition of The MMA Hour.

Hours later the promotion released a statement denying St-Pierre’s announcement:

“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.”

GSP explained on The MMA Hour that his lawyer had terminated his contract due to the UFC’s inability to offer him a fight by a certain deadline. Prior to WME-IMG purchasing Zuffa in July, GSP explained he was in negotiations with former-Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta for a new contract. After the company was sold, that went unsettled.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Closely prior to the offer deadline, the UFC messaged GSP with an offer to fight former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler. With Lawler’s recent decision to sit on the sidelines of MMA for a bit, GSP’s lawyer James Quinn advised him that the contract was terminated, making him a free agent. Or so he thought.

For something as simple as an offer deadline to be grounds for a contract termination, we’d be seeing a lot more upset fighters becoming free agents without a legal war. Even if GSP was released from his contract with Zuffa, there are stipulations in their contracts (for the 99.9% most part) preventing fighters from then signing with rival promotions (ahem bellator ahem). Nearly making it impossible to make a living in the fight game.

That is, unless you’re GSP.

Just over a week ago, I reported from a close source that there was a near super-fight signed between GSP and former UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 206 in Toronto this December. Days later, another source stated there were sponsorship issues between Reebok, the main sponsor the UFC and Under Armor, one of GSP’s major personal sponsors. Once it became inevitable no agreement was going to come from the two parties, the thought of GSP’s long awaited come back in his home country quickly faded.

Is this the beginning of a major war between GSP and the UFC? Or will they come to an agreement?

 

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Kristine is a Managing Editor for DoubleGSports.com as well as UFC/MMA Lead Writer. She also hosts a column known as Fighting Words.
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