Georges St-Pierre Return: GSP Headed to Bellator After UFC Contract Expiration?
On Monday night, former long-time welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre confirmed that he is no longer under contract with the UFC.
Speaking to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on the most recent episode of The MMA Hour, "GSP" claimed that his lawyer James Quinn, terminated his running contract with the company, mainly after the latter failed to meet the deadline they have set to make a fight offer happen.
The report adds that St-Pierre's contract has been in existence since 2011, but was not given an offer upon the entry of new management last July. For his part, the 35-year-old fighter says he was left in utter disbelief by what had happened and how things transpired.
"It was like a shock, because we felt like we were making progress, we were almost there. When they told us that, I got angry," St-Pierre said.
The UFC, on the other hand, went on to dispute St-Pierre's statements. They have claimed that the French-Canadian fighter remains under contract with them.
"Georges St-Pierre remains under an existing agreement with Zuffa, LLC as his MMA promoter. Zuffa intends to honor its agreement with St-Pierre and reserves its rights under the law to have St-Pierre do the same," the UFC's statement reads (via Bloody Elbow).
Being the big-named fighter that he is, the announcement of St-Pierre's purported contract expiration under the UFC banner immediately made waves within the MMA realm, and it did not take long before rival company Bellator FC to take notice. As confirmed in a tweet by ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto, Bellator head honcho Scott Coker has apparently shown interest.
Asked for Scott Coker's reaction on Georges St-Pierre's comments today. All he'd give me, via text: "That's interesting ..."
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 17, 2016
Many other former UFC fighters, namely Chael Sonnen, former lightweight champion Benson Henderson, and most recently one of St-Pierre's teammates Rory MacDonald have signed with Bellator.
St-Pierre last saw action in November 2013 at UFC 167, where he won a controversial split decision against Johny Hendricks. He subsequently announced that he will be taking an indefinite hiatus from fighting.
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