Earlier this year, welterweight great Georges St-Pierre announced his intention to return to action after a lengthy hiatus from the sport of mixed martial arts. When it was announced that the UFC was planning to host UFC 206 in Toronto – the biggest city in St-Pierre’s home country of Canada – the stars seemed to be aligning for his long-awaited UFC return.
Unfortunately, the former welterweight champion’s UFC comeback has been completely derailed, as he is not only not fighting at UFC 206 in Toronto, but has been driven from the UFC altogether.
Shortly after this massive announcement, St-Pierre touched on the failed negotiations that halted his rumored return in Toronto.
Though the ever-courteous Canadian was careful not to be too accusatory, he did say that these failed negotiations were the fault of the UFC’s new owners, who took the company reigns from Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta this summer.
“I truly believe that what we asked was totally reasonable,” St-Pierre said of his demands. “For me, it’s totally illogical that this fight didn’t happen in Toronto. We would have both been winners, we would have been winners on both sides, and now instead of that, we’re all losers, especially the fans. We’re all losers.”
“I believe if Lorenzo was still there, it would maybe be different,” he continued. “We were making a lot of progress when we were talking to Lorenzo, but when the new owners came, all the offers were off the table. It was a big step back and it was insulting.”
“It was more of a cooperative with Lorenzo. When we talked to the new owners, it was a totally different story. Everything was off the table.”
The reluctance of the UFC’s new owners to meet St-Pierre’s asks was based partially on his lengthy layoff. Apparently, they were worried that it would be quite expensive to reintroduce him to the fans.
To St-Pierre, this is a laughable idea.
“I found it a little bit funny, to tell you the truth,” he told Ariel Helwani on the show. “I’m pretty confident, Ariel, that if I had gone and fought in Toronto, I would have sold out the Toronto stadium in a few minutes. I’m that confident. I’m sure the fans have not forgot about me, I’m sure it would have been a great success. I’m very disappointed in what happened.”
That last word – “disappointment” – seems to be the keyword for St-Pierre in the wake of these failed negotiations.
“I felt a bit like a yo-yo,” he said. “It took a lot of energy. That’s why I hired my lawyer, to free myself.
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