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19th Oct 2016

Georges St-Pierre’s lawyers reveal more details on his UFC contract termination

"Our position is the contract is terminated."

Ben Kiely

Georges St-Pierre’s lawyers are sticking to their guns over the fighter’s contract status, but the fighter may not be finished with the UFC just yet.

Earlier this week, the former welterweight king dropped the bombshell that his contract with the UFC had been terminated and he had become a free agent. However, there was some confusion over the status of his contract after the promotion claimed in a press release that he was still under contract.

Attorneys representing St-Pierre have since told ESPN that their position remains the same despite the UFC’s response. Jim Quinn, who St-Pierre hired to evaluate his old contract from 2011, said the deal was terminated because the promotion breached it by failing to offer him a fight..

“Our position is the contract is terminated. I suppose they could take legal steps against that or they could offer a new contract. They have a variety of options on their side.”

Although Quinn claims GSP is no longer contracted to fight for the UFC, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of the Canadian superstar returning to the world’s biggest MMA organisation.

“Georges wants to fight. He’s not ruling out the UFC. He just believes, at this stage, they had long enough under the old contract. Now he’ll either fight for the UFC or somewhere else, but he’s going to fight.”

GSP explained on Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour that a legal deadline was set for the UFC to offer him a fight, and they returned to him with an offer to fight former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in the 11th hour. He turned it down because Lawler recently withdrew from a scheduled fight at UFC 205 on November 12 and there was no timeline for his return.

Attorney Eric Hochstadt shed more light on this offer, explaining that his firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges set a 10-day deadline for the UFC.

“The UFC waited until the 11th-and-a-half hour to come back with bare bones information, that floated one fighter and nothing else. No specifics at all in terms of fight date, venue, number of rounds. All we got, at the 11th hour, was a proposal for somebody. And as Georges said, we don’t know if (Lawler is) ready and able to fight. All we know is he just pulled out of a fight.”

Another issue GSP had with his old contract is that the last time St-Pierre fought, the Reebok sponsorship deal was not yet in place. Hochstadt explained that the controversial apparel deal created a conflict with St-Pierre’s independent apparel sponsors.

“We were working through all the issues in play and had been squaring them away. One of them, no surprise, was the UFC has a Reebok deal that came in long after Georges’ contract. We were working through those things, but ultimately, you’ve got to schedule a fight for your fighter. The UFC knows how to schedule fights. This is what they do every day. Send a bout agreement with all the specifics. They didn’t do that here. Why they chose not to do that, I don’t know.”

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