Georges St-Pierre is standing by his previous claim that he is no longer legally under UFC contract.
The former UFC welterweight champion said Wednesday, without going into much detail, that he believes his legal team has a strong case that he is a free agent and able to sign with any MMA promotion.
“My lawyer (James Quinn) — he’s the best in this kind of situation — he told me I’m a free agent,” St-Pierre said. “So I am a free agent from my side of the situation. We have very strong evidence that I’m a free agent. Very confident. That’s all I can say.”
The comments were made on a media conference call announcing the launch of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA), a group that hopes to galvanize and organize fighters in an effort to get, among other things, a bigger piece of the UFC’s revenue pie.
St-Pierre, 35, was joined by Tim Kennedy, Cain Velasquez, Donald Cerrone and T.J. Dillashaw on the call, as well as former Bellator owner Bjorn Rebney. Quinn, a high-powered New York-based lawyer, will be part of the organization, as well. Quinn was counsel in antitrust cases in the NFL and NBA, which ultimately led to players in both leagues earning free agency. Rebney referred to him as the “Michael Jordan” of the space.
GSP first said he was a free agent Oct. 17 on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. St-Pierre said the UFC did not meet a Quinn-set deadline to offer him a fight and, therefore, he was no longer bound by the promotion’s contract. GSP said negotiations for a comeback bout ground to a halt after the UFC was purchased by WME-IMG for more than $4 billion in July. St-Pierre is represented by WME-IMG rival Creative Artists Agency.
The UFC countered later that day with a statement saying it still considered St-Pierre under contract.
“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.”
St-Pierre, who has not fought for three years after stepping away from the sport for various reasons, alluded to a potential legal case Wednesday on the conference call after being asked about his free-agent status.
“I have to be very careful of how I’m going to answer this question, because it can be used in court,” St-Pierre said. “My lawyer James Quinn told me I’m a free agent. But you know how it is. There’s two sides of the situation and sometimes it could be in court. That’s all I can say.”
Who’s side are you on? The UFC or do you agree with GSP?
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