Today, it has come to light that the UFC’s former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has agreed terms with the UFC and is very close to signing a new contract.
These days the UFC are in something of a pickle when it comes to star power. With their biggest draw, Conor McGregor, seemingly now playing by his own rules, the various issues that have recently deprived them of their other marquee names in Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar has caused a drought in the promotion’s well of stars.
For their former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, the UFC’s desperation for someone with his undoubtedly huge name and PPV-selling power more than likely manifested itself as a strong bargaining chip as he negotiated his return to MMA.
GSP, of course, has not competed in the sport since his questionable split decision victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in 2013, and though his hiatus was self-imposed, for some time it did not seem as though he was in any rush to return to the life that made him a bona fide star.
As the UFC’s welterweight champion, St-Pierre was nothing short of masterful as he ruled the division, successfully defending the belt nine times and defeating some of the greatest 170lb-rs the game had ever seen.
Recently, the UFC’s middleweight champion Michael Bisping spoke on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani about what he had heard about GSP’s return and how he was apparently in line for a shot at the 185lb title.
“His [GSP’s] trainer told me recently that they are pretty much at an agreement with the UFC, so the deal’s almost done. And, he wants to fight me. I am the fighter they are targeting. So it is not outside the realms of possibility.
“Right now, I will assume that Yoel is my next opponent, but there is always that wild card. If the UFC were to come to me with GSP, then I think I would take that one first, simply for the gigantic payday.”
Many took that quote with a grain of salt but now the famed MMA journalist Helwani himself has reported (via MMA Fighting) that multiple sources close to him confirm that GSP and the UFC have agreed terms, and that the Canadian legend’s return to the world of MMA would be happening sooner than we would have thought.
With negotiation problems in the past reportedly stemming from the UFC’s insistence that their fighters wear the now mandatory Reebok fight Kits, it seems as though GSP and the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion have come to an agreement and that we will see the formerly dominant St-Pierre return after all.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena