Former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre’s ongoing dispute with the UFC has been an extremely long one with many unanticipated bumps in the road. While St-Pierre has maintained that he is ready to once again return to the Octagon, and end his 3-year hiatus, he and the UFC have been unable to reach a deal that would see ‘Rush’ return to action.
Several months ago, all signs pointed to St-Pierre returning to the Octagon at UFC 206 in Toronto to fight Michael Bisping for the middleweight championship on December 10th. While both men agreed to the bout, one major hangup stood in the way, St-Pierre’s sponsorship with Under Armour.
St-Pierre ultimately released a message to Bisping, informing him that while he wished he could fight at UFC 206, negotiations with the UFC failed and he would be unable to do so.
This week, St-Pierre’s attorney gave an update on GSP’s negotiations with the UFC, saying:
“It’s fair to say that negotiations for UFC 206 have failed, and Georges is OK with that,” said Eric Hochstadt, one of St-Pierre’s attorneys and a partner in Weil’s Litigation Department. “He certainly tried with the UFC’s new management.”
“Look — Georges is ready to go if we can get this done,” Hotchstadt said. “Hopefully, for the sport, for Georges, for fans, that can happen. At this rate (of negotiations), probably next year.”
“He doesn’t need the UFC,” Hochstadt said of St-Pierre. “If the new owners, William Morris-IMG, don’t want him back and they try to block him from fighting elsewhere, he can then take the legal battle or decide to walk away and do other things.”
Now, interestingly enough, St-Pierre posted a photo to Twitter showing he and recently signed Bellator MMA fighter Chael Sonnen post-training.
— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) November 20, 2016
Sonnen, who is gearing up for a Bellator MMA fight with Tito Ortiz in January, announced earlier this year once his 2-year suspension was up that he was coming out of retirement, and had signed an exclusive multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA.
Interestingly enough, St-Pierre and his attorney have both stated that he is willing to take the UFC to court over his contract, with the above photo very well potentially meaning that St-Pierre could be looking to opt-out of his UFC contract and sign with Bellator MMA.