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UFC and Dana White need to free Georges St-Pierre

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Dana White needs to show his appreciation for GSP in a tangible way, not by inducting him into the UFC Hall of Fame

Two division former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre
Two division former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

In discussing Georges St-Pierre’s induction to the UFC Hall of Fame, UFC president Dana White reminisced about what St-Pierre met to the UFC and MMA, but mostly to the UFC.

“He became a huge star for us,” White said during the UFC 266 pre-fight press conference last week in Las Vegas. “(St-Pierre) broke tons of records and that whole time period of Georges St-Pierre and opening Canada was a very massive part of the history of the sport and a very fun time for me, my staff and obviously the fans. He’s one of the greatest human beings on the planet. (I’m) so, very happy for him, very proud to induct him into the (UFC) Hall of Fame.”

During the video that ran for St-Pierre’s induction, White said “I honestly don’t think that there was anything bigger than when we brought GSP to Toronto,” referring to UFC 129 where St-Pierre beat Jake Shields in front of nearly 56,000 fans at Rogers Centre.

In closing out the video presentation, White added, that St-Pierre was, “an incredible world champion and a guy that everybody can look up to and respect.”

Those are nice words. They might even be heartfelt, and honest words, but they are empty, worthless and meaningless words.

White and the UFC could show the 40-year-old St-Pierre appreciation by releasing him from his UFC contract. Yes, St-Pierre, who has not fought for the UFC since he submitted Michael Bisping to become a two-division UFC champion in 2017 — after four years away from the octagon — remains under UFC contract.

In July, St-Pierre spoke about his contract with the UFC, telling Sports Illustrated he planned on participating in combat sports when that deal expires in “almost two years.”

The former UFC champion went into more detail about the one-sided status of his deal with the UFC in August when he said the UFC, specifically Dana White, was preventing him from participating in an exhibition boxing match.

The reason White refused to let St-Pierre out of his contract — pettiness.

St-Pierre told The MMA Hour that he had a chance to box Oscar De La Hoya in a matchup that would have seen the two fight eight two-minute rounds. According to the ex-UFC champ, most of the proceeds of the fight would have gone to charity.

“At first he says to me that the reason why he did not want it is because he thought that Oscar would basically destroy me in a boxing match. And I had some good arguments — I told him that I believe Oscar has more mileage than I do, he’s no longer in his prime, I stayed busy the whole time, I’m still in great shape, I’m going to be very well prepared and I’m taking this fight very seriously. If I do it, because it’s my name — my image is attached to it — I will do it 100 percent. And I told Dana, I said, ‘If there’s one MMA fighter that go to boxing and look good in this situation, it would be me.’

“And at first he refused,” St-Pierre continued. “Then he thought about it but he came back with the argument that, oh, no, it’s not because he thinks Oscar is going to win; he thinks it’s because he doesn’t like the fact that Triller takes me and makes money off my back while I’m still under contract with UFC. “

If the UFC and more specifically Dana White wants to show St-Pierre and the MMA world just how much it appreciates what the Canadian fighter did for the UFC — and its bank account — it would release him from his contract free and clear, with a pat on the back and a “good luck.” Anything short of that shows that St-Pierre is nothing but another piece of the UFC portfolio, an object it can hold on to and list on its ledger. White needs to show St-Pierre he appreciates him and wants the best for him and stop offering him nothing but pretty and meaningless words.