It’s now been three years since Canadian MMA star Georges St-Pierre announced that he would be stepping away from the Octagon.
GSP, who ruled the UFC welterweight division from 2008-2013, was expected to make a comeback at UFC 206 in Toronto, Canada.
St-Pierre was rumored to face Michael Bisping or Nick Diaz, but negotiations with the UFC went south. His attorney, Eric Hochstadt, confirmed that the fan favorite will not be making a return in front of his home crowd on Dec. 10.
“It’s fair to say that negotiations for UFC 206 have failed, and Georges is OK with that,” Hochstadt told Matt Connolly of Forbes. “He certainly tried with the UFC’s new management.”
Part of the problem lies with the conflict between WMG, the UFC’s new owners, and GSP’s own management team. St-Pierre also has a thriving sponsorship deal with Under Armour, which clashes with the UFC-Reebok partnership.
Hochstadt is hopeful that new terms can be reached next year but insists that his client does not necessarily need the UFC.
“Look — Georges is ready to go if we can get this done,” Hochstadt said. “Hopefully, for the sport, for Georges, for fans, that can happen. At this rate (of negotiations), probably next year.”
“He doesn’t need the UFC,” Hochstadt said of St-Pierre. “If the new owners, William Morris-IMG, don’t want him back and they try to block him from fighting elsewhere, he can then take the legal battle or decide to walk away and do other things.”
Hochstadt also claims that a deal would have already been reached with ex-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, and says WMG are the ‘bad guys’.
“Those are the bad guys here,” he said. “Under the prior management before William Morris-IMG we don’t think any of this stuff would’ve happened. There would’ve been a deal reached, maybe even for UFC 206 in Toronto.”
After Conor McGregor made history at UFC 205 by becoming the first concurrent two-division champion, the UFC should be doing everything in their power to lure GSP back into the Octagon by booking a superfight against ‘The Notorious’. It would, no doubt, be the biggest fight in MMA history.