Recently, former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre left MMA fans stunned as he revealed that he was officially a free agent in the MMA world. The news came just over a week after St-Pierre informed MMA fans that news regarding his potential return to the Octagon would be coming in ‘just a few weeks’. Following St-Pierre’s announcement, the UFC brass was quick to release a statement in which they refuted St-Pierre’s claims of being a free agent.
‘Rush’ has remained in Las Vegas, while reports of his potential return at UFC 206 against Michael Bisping have continued to circulate despite his claims that he is a free agent.
Now, UFC legend Randy Couture has spoken on The MMA Hour about St-Pierre’s contract dispute, using his own experience to explain why St-Pierre faces an “uphill” battle in his dispute:
“I certainly saw similarities, and I’m not privy to Georges’ contract and the language in Georges’ contract, but I’m sure it’s in many ways very similar to what I was dealing with back in 2007,” Couture said Monday on The MMA Hour.
“And maybe, unfortunately for Georges, some of the issues that were pointed in out in their contracts back then that were the impetus for me declaring my free agency back then, and trying to make that Fedor fight happen and having injunctions filed and spending a lot of money on attorneys and stuff — a lot of those things were closed. They [changed their] contracts to some extent to try and prevent athletes from doing what I had been doing.
“But it’s definitely going to be an uphill climb. These guys have controlled fighters and controlled this situation for a long, long time. And they’re good at it. So, I think Georges is certainly going to be up against it.”
As Couture points out, his contract dispute with the UFC was an extremely lengthy one that cost him nearly $500,000 of his own personal money, ultimately caving in due to the fact that he knew the clock was ticking on his career.
Recently, Couture has been a high-profile advocate for a ‘Fighter’s Union’ in an effort to protect fighters.