UFC denies St-Pierre’s ‘free agent’ claims
Georges St-Pierre’s return to fighting has been teased for over a year now, but it looks like it won’t be with the UFC.
The longtime welterweight champion appeared on the “MMA Hour” on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) to declare that he was no longer affiliated with the organization and that he was eligible to sign with any promotion.
“You heard it right,” he said. “I’m a free agent. My lawyer terminated the contract with the UFC.”
UFC officials, however, quickly refuted his claim, saying no contract negotiation took place.
“Georges St-Pierre remains under an existing agreement with Zuffa, LLC as his MMA promoter,” the company said in a statement.
“Zuffa intends to honor its agreement with St-Pierre and reserves its rights under the law to have St-Pierre do the same.”
The 35-year-old Canadian superstar has been on hiatus from the sport since 2013, but his contract does not expire under those terms and extends until he is ready to return to action.
He was reportedly close to returning to the cage in December at UFC 206 in rumored bouts with either Anderson Silva or Robbie Lawler, until negotiations broke down between his team and the new UFC brass.
“I think we were close to an agreement at some point until big news arrived, the news that the UFC got sold to the new owners,” St-Pierre explained, referring to the WWE-IMG group that bought the company from the Fertitta brothers in July.
“Finally, the new owners come and tell us that Lorenzo’s offer was off the table. And it was like a shock for us because we felt like we were making progress, we were almost there,” he added. Khristian Ibarrola