Georges St-Pierre is in the middle of a contract stand off with the UFC. The longtime welterweight champ declared himself as a free agent earlier in the week, saying that his team has terminated the contract after the UFC violated the terms of his deal. The UFC has since responded to say they reserve their rights under the law to have GSP honor the contract.
James Quinn is currently handling St-Pierre’s legal affairs, and he recently spoke about his UFC contract. He deemed that the deal, which includes the controversial “Ancillary Rights Clause” and “Champion’s Clause”, is “something out of the 1940s.”
"I've done a lot of work in sports. When I read that contract, I was blown away by how restrictive it is," Quinn told MMA Fighting.
"They're basically tying him up for life. They have no rights and they own all of his licensing and all the other things. It's unheard of in the other professional sports. And they won't get away with it forever."
He says those types of contracts aren’t seen in sporting organizations today, and once placed under the scrutiny of the law, would be found illegal. Another issue GSP’s team has, is that the contract was signed long before the Reebok deal was put in place, and trying to enforce that new provision may be challenged in court as well.
Quinn also mentioned the on-going anti-trust lawsuit against the UFC when speaking about St-Pierre’s situation.
"You couldn't get away with any old contract in any of the other sports," Quinn said. "There is litigation in that aspect of a class-action lawsuit that challenges the contract as being illegal under the NHS laws. That case is ongoing, and I think that under the law's terms, I don't think the contract -- that formal contract -- is likely to stand up. Not in today's world. It's a pretty nice form of slavery."
They maintain that they’re still willing to negotiate a new deal with the promotion, but are aware that it can take a different route through litigation.
“It's really up to the UFC, whether they're willing to negotiate another contract or not," Quinn said.
"We take the position that we believe the contract has been terminated. They have their hand, we have our hand, we'll see how it plays out,” he said. “Georges still wants to fight and he's perfectly happy to fight under a new UFC contract, if we can negotiate one. Or if not, he'll look at other options."