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UFC responds to self-proclaimed 'free agent' Georges St-Pierre, 'reserves its rights under the law'

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If Georges St-Pierre thinks he no longer has to honor his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contract, which has laid dormant for nearly three years, the former Welterweight champion will now have to prove it in a court of law. That's because UFC officials, unsurprisingly, do not agree with his statement earlier this afternoon that he had become a "free agent" and was free to pursue other mixed martial arts (MMA) opportunities.

FOXSports was able to track down UFC's official statement on the matter:

"Georges St-Pierre remains under an existing agreement with Zuffa, LLC as his MMA promoter. Zuffa intends to honor its agreement with St-Pierre and reserves its rights under the law to have St-Pierre do the same."

St-Pierre -- whose last appearance inside the Octagon was a split decision win over Johny Hendricks in Nov. 2013 -- was admittedly on a positive path toward a comeback. But, then UFC sold to WME | IMG for $4 billion over the summer and negotiations stalled. "Rush" soon grew impatient and hired a high-powered attorney, James Quinn, who set a deadline for UFC to book a fight for the French Canadian. In response, UFC inquired about whether or not St-Pierre would fight Robbie Lawler at a future date and time.

That was apparently not enough, compelling St-Pierre to make today's surprise announcement. Of course, company president Dana White's constant digs more than likely did not help the situation. Reebok is a bit of a snafu, too. Mix that altogether, along with whatever behind-the-scenes ingredients we are not privy to, and this fallout can begin to make sense.

What doesn't make much sense is St-Pierre's burning desire to return to competition. The 35-year-old seemingly has nothing left to prove. And getting into a costly -- and likely lengthy -- legal battle with UFC would burn up quite a few retirement dollars. In doing so, he'd join the likes of Randy Couture and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, as well as Eddie Alvarez (albeit while he was with Bellator MMA), who all tried to break free of MMA contracts, but created expensive legal odysseys.

This probably won't end any different.