The battle between Georges St-Pierre, his lawyers and the new owners of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), WME-IMG, continues to disrupt one of the most highly-anticipated comebacks in mixed martial arts (MMA) today. GSP wants to fight as soon as possible and MMA fans desperately want him back inside of the Octagon, yet neither side is budging in a contract dispute that is beginning to turn ugly.
"It's fair to say that negotiations for UFC 206 have failed, and Georges is OK with that," said Eric Hochstadt, one of St-Pierre's attorneys and a partner in Weil's Litigation Department, in a recent interview with Forbes. "He certainly tried with the UFC's new management."
Remember, GSP was expected to return to the cage for UFC 206 on Dec. 10 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but UFC president Dana White shot that down real quick, stating that he doesn't believe the former welterweight champion actually wants to fight again.
"He doesn't need the UFC," said Hochstadt 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.
"Those are the bad guys here. 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."
Contract negotiations have presumably stalled because GSP wants more money to suffice for a lack of sponsorship under the new Reebok-UFC deal, but it's a hurdle that should have already been cleared to bring back the best welterweight champion of all time.
Hochstadt added that he and his legal team are prepared to bring the battle into the courtroom. That wouldn't be a good look for the new owners of UFC.