Georges St-Pierre didn’t waste any time getting right to the point during an appearance on UFC Tonight earlier in the evening. When asked if the former welterweight champion was planning to return to the Octagon, GSP left no room for doubt that he did.
“I wanna come back,” he said in the first five seconds of the interview. As to what was stopping him? Negotiations with UFC execs. “They know the terms that I want and trust me, I’m very reasonable. So it’s up to them. My agent is trying to reach them and they’re hard to reach, but I guess they’re going to come back soon. Hopefully, we’ll see.”
According to St-Pierre, he’s not looking to throw his old contract out, but rather adjust it to take into consideration the loss of sponsorship money due to the UFC’s exclusive Reebok deal.
“I’m making a lot of money now even though I’m not fighting,” he explained. “And my contract is old, my contract was made before the Reebok deal. And what we ask, basically, is that if I go back to fighting, I can’t advertise with my sponsor. So I’m losing money if I go back to fight under the old term of my contract.”
UFC president Dana White hasn’t been shy sharing his opinion that Georges wasn’t serious about a comeback, but I guess that sounds better than admitting he just isn’t willing to renegotiate yet another fighter’s contract. Fortunately, GSP doesn’t seem to be taking any of White’s comments personally.
“Now it’s like a game. He’s doing his game and I’m doing mine. And we work for our best interests. But let me fight once and you’ll see. You’ll see after the first minute of the fight, [Dana] will be like ‘Oh yeah, he’s serious.'”
We can only hope that behind this game lies a legitimate desire to make a deal that brings one of the UFC’s biggest stars back to the Octagon. As to when Georges St-Pierre might return, the Montreal fighter entered himself back into the USADA testing pool just in time to take a theoretical fight at UFC 206 on December 10.
“It’s in Toronto,” St-Pierre said with a laugh. “Who would be the better man than myself to headline a card in Toronto? To fill back the Air Canada Center and get back the Canadian fans, raise the pay-per-view up?”
When asked for three names that might interest him, Georges listed current welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, Nick Diaz, and Demian Maia. “These guys can elevate me. They’re not guys that I’m necessarily supposed to beat. So it’s a big risk, but I’m willing to take the risk because these guys are going to elevate me.”
Now we just have to wait and see if St-Pierre and the UFC can come to a financial agreement that will lock him in for the card. It seems crazy that Dana White would be willing to pass on a GSP return over what probably amounts to a million dollar pay bump. But with so many fighters trying to force more money out of the UFC and their new owners, a line has to be drawn somewhere. We just happen to think it shouldn’t be drawn anywhere near Georges.