Combat sports disrupter Triller recently announced that they had attempted to make a boxing spectacle featuring the newly unretired Oscar De La Hoya and UFC welterweight GOAT Georges St-Pierre. Reportedly, the fighters were both in agreement, but the UFC—who St-Pierre is still contracted to—scuppered the deal.
St-Pierre, who is finding success with acting currently, said recently that he understands why the UFC (and specifically Dana White) would not want him to fight. However, ‘Rush’ did concede that boxing De La Hoya—one of his favourite all-time boxers—would have been a dream come true.
Fellow UFC icon Anderson Silva has spoken out about this situation and shared his frustration over the UFC blocking St-Pierre from such an opportunity.
“I think it doesn’t make sense,” Silva told MMA Junkie. “Especially because Georges did a lot for the sport, especially for UFC. Why you hold the guy? This makes no sense.”
The UFC are able to ‘hold’ St-Pierre because of the nature of UFC fighter contracts. Unless a fighter is released by the UFC, or they complete the number of fights on their contract and don’t sign a new deal, the UFC has exclusive rights to that fighter’s bouts in perpetuity. This situation has resulted in fighters who have been retired or inactive for a decade or more still being contractually obligated to the UFC.
“Georges is a fighter,” continued Silva. “You can’t hold a fighter. It’s the same if you take the lion in the jungle and put him inside a cage. The lion is going to die. You can’t do that. Nobody can do that. This makes no sense. This is terrible, terrible – completely terrible.
“First of all, I think when you do your job, especially fight in the level me and Georges do it, you need to respect. Georges worked hard to make a lot of things for UFC. It makes no sense, Dana White holding Georges St-Pierre. I have my personal opinion about Dana, and I’m not anymore in UFC. I don’t like to talk about UFC because everything I do inside UFC is done for me. I do my best, I put in my heart in the company, but now it’s a page in my life that’s done.”
Silva, who fought out his UFC contract and was not offered a new one, has announced his retirement from MMA, but also his intention to pursue pro boxing. He is slated to face former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a 10 round bout on June 19.