The UFC has refuted claims by former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre that he’s now a free agent, and insist he’s still under contract with the organization.
After months of speculation yesterday, GSP not only ruled himself out of UFC 206 and any other UFC event for the foreseeable future but in a shocking revelation declared himself a free agent after talks to return to action and fight for the UFC fell through.
“You heard it right. I’m a free agent,” he told ‘The MMA Hour’. “My lawyer terminated the contract with the UFC. To [come back], 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. I was very pumped up a few weeks ago when we talked. Now, I’m not as pumped up as I was. I’m entering unknown water, unknown territory. I just don’t know what’s gonna happen.”
Earlier this week UFC president Dana White questioned GSP’s mentality and thought retirement was the best for arguably one of the greatest of all time.
“There’s a certain mentality you have to have to be a fighter, and Georges St-Pierre hasn’t had that mentality for a long time,” White said. “And sometimes that’s not a bad thing. Listen, the guy went out on top. How many athletes really go out on top? Go out the way you want to go out? The guy made a lot of money and when you take – this isn’t a sport you take a three-year layoff from.”
Give credit where credit is due, St-Pierre could have used this as an opportunity to take a swipe at the UFC president. But like many times before in his career he chose not to engage in a war of words and was very respectful of the situation.
“I don’t dislike Dana White, he was a big part of what I do, and a big part of what I earned is because of Dana White,” ‘Rush’ said. “Dana White can organize a fight between the (Incredible) Hulk and Mother Theresa and make people believe it will be an even fight and people need to see that fight. He’s so good at promoting, and when he says something, everybody believes it.
“When he’s saying that I’m not ready to fight, there’s only one person who knows if I’m ready to fight, and it’s myself. Dana White doesn’t know what it is to be a fighter, I know what it is to be a fighter. I’m a fighter, and I will always stand and support fighters.”
Following the interview the UFC issued a statement claiming St-Pierre was in fact still under contract with the promotion.
“Georges St-Pierre remains under an existing agreement with Zuffa, LLC as his MMA promoter,” the statement read. “Zuffa intends to honor its agreement with St-Pierre and reserves its rights under the law to have St-Pierre do the same.”