Georges St. Pierre has terminated his contract with the UFC and is now a free agent.
The former long-time UFC welterweight champion has been negotiating with the promotion for the past few months regarding his possible return and, according to him, the two parties weren’t able to reach a deal. He appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour hosted by MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani where he discussed what led to him parting ways with the UFC and what that means for him next.
“You heard it right, I’m a free agent,” St-Pierre said.
His discussion with the UFC about making a comeback began in the summer where it seemed possible that he’d be able to headline UFC 206, which is set to take place in his home country of Canada. He was still under his 2011 contract and was working on renewing the deal before the promotion was sold to WME | IMG in July, who put talks on hold.
“It was like a shock, because we felt like we were making progress, we were almost there,” St-Pierre said. “When they told us that, I got angry.”
St. Pierre’s lawyer then offered the UFC a legal deadline to offer him a bout. The promotion proposed a fight against former champion Robbie Lawler at a later date but the bout couldn’t be put together since Lawler needed to take time off following his knockout loss to Tyron Woodley in July. The deadline was then reached and the contract terminated.
“The reason I wanted to go back and fight is because I feel right now that I'm at my best,” St-Pierre said. “I'm truly confident I can beat the guys that are champions right now. I'm that confident. At least I'm a free man. Now, I know I'm free. I have other options. I'm not caught up legally with a contract. I'm a free man.”
“It would have been a win-win situation. I think now what happened with this situation, the biggest loser is the fans. I'm a loser. The UFC is a loser. Even the UFC is a loser. They would have made good money."
According to St. Pierre, the UFC claimed that they would be taking “a huge financial risk” by bringing him back to a new audience, which the former champion thought was pretty strange.
“I don't take it personal,” St-Pierre said. “I found it a little bit funny to tell you the truth. I know it's a lie. Sometimes I start to ask myself if they started to believe what they're saying.”