When news broke of former UFC welterweight champion Georges Saint Pierre coming out of retirement, there wasn’t much doubt regarding where the French-Canadian superstar would re-sign with the UFC.
But with entirely new owners and an exclusive apparel contract with Reebok, much has changed in the UFC since GSP stepped away from the sport in 2013.
Now that GSP’s future over where the former champ will continue his MMA career is unclear, the thought of him fighting outside of the UFC is a very real possibility.
One-time opponent and perhaps the best welterweight not under contract with the UFC Jake Shields spoke exclusively to BJPENN.com Radio and discussed his interpretation of GSP’s situation and the thought of a rematch.
“I’d love to fight him,” Shields told BJPENN.com Radio. “I think GSP leaving the UFC would be huge (for the sport). I’ve always wanted that rematch, too.”
“We could do it on NBC (World Series of Fighting), or Spike TV (Bellator MMA). It would be great for the sport and could blow up another promotion (besides the UFC).”
“But I think he will work something out with the UFC. He’s seeing what Conor and Nate are making now (since GSP retired in 2013), so he probably feels underpaid. He most likely is underpaid. I don’t know exactly what his contract is, but GSP is a huge, huge star, and to say that (he’s underpaid) is ridiculous. In Canada and even world-wide he attracts a lot of eyeballs. I think it works out and he gets paid what he wants.”
Shields and Saint Pierre fought back at UFC 129 in Toronto in 2011. The PPV they headlined broke live attendance gates records, as over 55,000 fans piled into the Rogers Centre in what became the largest UFC event in North American history. That record wasn’t broken until UFC 193 backed by superstar Ronda Rousey.
The former Strikeforce champion will be taking on fellow former UFC welterweight title contender Jon Fitch under the World Series of Fighting banner on December 31 for the promotion’s first ever event in New York City and the historic Madison Square Garden.
Do you agree with Shields that GSP will most likely re-sign with the UFC? If he doesn’t, does a rematch between Jake Shields and Georges Saint Pierre excite you? Sound off, PENN Nation!