After Georges St-Pierre announced that he is now a free agent as his UFC contract is null and void, the MMA promotion were quick to release a statement claiming otherwise.
According to the UFC, St-Pierre is still very much tied to a contract with the company and, should he attempt to breach this agreement, the company will take legal action.
“Georges St-Pierre remains under an existing agreement with Zuffa, LLC as his MMA promoter,” read the statement. “Zuffa intends to honor its agreement with St-Pierre and reserves its rights under the law to have St-Pierre do the same.”
On Tuesday evening, GSP’s lawyers at New York firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges have spoken out to clear up their own interpretation of the current situation and where the Canadian fighter can go from here.
“Our position is the contract is terminated,” said Jim Quinn of Weil, Gotshal and Manges . “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.”
Speaking to ESPN, another attorney at the same firm, Eric Hochstadt, stated that as St-Pierre never received an actual bout agreement despite being set a clear deadline. Hochstadt explains that all St-Pierre received was a letter proposing a potential bout with Robbie Lawler with no specifics in terms of when, where and how.
“The UFC waited until the 11th-and-a-half hour to come back with bare bones information, that floated one fighter and nothing else,” Hochstadt said. “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.
“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.”
Despite the fact that St-Pierre’s lawyers clearly feel that the Canadian is now a free agent as a result of the UFC’s failure to offer the 35-year-old an official bout, Jim Quinn did state that the former welterweight has not, as of yet, entirely ruled out a return to the UFC.
“Georges wants to fight,” Quinn said. “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.”