Georges St. Pierre recently stated to Canadian media that the UFC has reached out to his team in an effort to renew contract negotiations. The news comes the same week that GSP announced his association with the new Mixed Martial Arts Athlete’s Association (MMAAA).
When asked if his new association would mean he’s finished in the UFC, GSP responded,
“No, no it doesn’t mean I’m done with the UFC. Like other members, like Cain Velasquez, Tim Kennedy, Cowboy Cerrone, they’re all seasoned fighters. Doesn’t mean I’m done. Actually, the night that we launched the association we received a letter, Rodolphe [Beaulieu] received a letter – my agent – from the UFC lawyer saying that they want to renew the negotiation with me because at the point where I was before the negotiation, the communication was cut. So we didn’t have any kind of communication.”
Negotiations Between GSP and the UFC
When Georges St. Pierre stepped away from the sport in late 2013, it was under some vague terms. It was never made clear by GSP or his team if and when he would be back. By the time he decided he wanted to return, the landscape of the UFC had changed. Namely, his ability to secure outside sponsorships was now gone.
St. Pierre’s outside sponsorship deals, most notably his deal with “Under Armour”, is said to be the most lucrative of any fighter ever. With the Reebok/UFC deal preventing outside sponsorships, GSP’s camp feels the UFC owes Georges the money he would have made from his non-Reebok sponsors.
Dana White on “Tim and Sid”
With UFC 206 in Toronto, Dana White is currently on a Canadian media tour to promote the show. Naturally, he is fielding plenty of questions regarding Georges St. Pierre’s status with the company.
Recently, White appeared on the “Tim and Sid Show” and stated that GSP’s association with the MMAAA will not impact ongoing negotiations between the two sides.
“I have a good relationship with Georges and yeah, obviously, we would love him to fight,” stated White.
“The problem is, Georges has a deal. Georges is under contract with us right now. He has a deal. I’m not afraid to give Georges St-Pierre more money, but it’s got to be reasonable.”
Unfortunately, Dana’s definition of reasonable appears to still be conflicting with Georges’.
Will GSP Appear at UFC 206?
Unless something major occurs in the next couple of days, the answer to this question is a definitive “No”. Considering how talks broke down between the two sides, Georges isn’t going to show up to the event unless the UFC has significantly upped their latest offer to him.
This is unfortunate, as just GSP’s mere presence might do a lot to quell complaints Canadian MMA fans are starting to have with the UFC. After all, another big Canadian fighter, Rory MacDonald, left the company recently after receiving a better contract offer from Bellator.
“I will not be there but I remain a big fan. I’m gonna watch some of my teammates fighting on TV from my home but I won’t be there unfortunately.” Georges stated to media.
UFC 206 is in the same city that jammed 55,000 people into the Rogers Centre to watch GSP defeat Jake Shields. Saturday’s event is in a building that doesn’t even hold half that many people, and there are still tickets available. That is the difference Georges St. Pierre makes.
GSP vs. Michael Bisping
According to GSP, he was hopeful up until a few weeks ago that the two sides would be able to work out an agreement in time for a UFC 206 bout.
” I was hoping to get it done against Michael Bisping and he was hoping it too but unfortunately the conditions that they were offering me for the contract were unacceptable. Any smart person would not have accepted it. A person who would have accepted it is scared and has no choice but I’m healthy, I’m wealthy, I have the choice. I don’t have to take something that is not advantageous for me. I mean equitable. Because now I was taking all the risk and it was not equitable.”
Meanwhile, it appears Bisping is targeting spring 2017 for his title defence against Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero.