It’s no secret that former welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre is angling for a return to the UFC. He’s been training in the gym and began the four-month drug testing procedure with USADA that is required for returning fighters. He even has potential opponents lining up to get a piece of him. There’s one thing he doesn’t have, though, and that’s a UFC contract.
St-Pierre and the UFC have been negotiating over a new contract for his potential return. A lot of things have changed since GSP last fought in the Octagon. For one, the UFC has a uniform deal with Reebok now, preventing fighters from wearing logos of their own sponsors to earn extra cash. And then there are guys like Conor McGregor making $3 million for a single fight. That’s a huge number, even for someone like St-Pierre, who was always one of the top earning fighters when he was active. According to GSP, the talks aren’t exactly going well. In fact, they aren’t going at all.
“We wanted to get in touch,” St-Pierre said, according to MMAFighting’s Marc Raimondi. “They were supposed to talk yesterday, but they couldn’t reach them. Something happened. They’re supposed to reach them. They’re unreachable now.”
“It’s a lot of the Reebok deal, but it’s also other things, too. The Reebok deal is part of it and it changed a lot of the infrastructure of the contract. This is not my fight. This is my manager’s fight.”
GSP admits he will have to make a hard decision if the two sides don’t make progress soon. He has already turned down a number of other projects as he prepares for a UFC comeback, but he can’t wait forever.
“I’ve refused a lot of projects because of this. At one point, I’ll have to make a choice. I want to stay sharp. I want to stay in shape. It’s either you go in movies or you go in fighting. You have to do one good.”
The UFC was recently purchased for $4 billion by WME-IMG, a huge conglomerate which also has a division that represents athletes. GSP is represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a competing firm. A spokesperson for WME-IMG said that negotiations between GSP and the UFC were “ongoing.”