Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made headlines in the week leading up to UFC 262 when news came out that they had denied Georges St-Pierre’s request to box Oscar De La Hoya in an exhibition bout for charity. Dana White made headlines immediately after UFC 262 when he ripped into the promoter of that proposed bout, Triller Fight Club, calling them a f—king joke, amongst other expletive-fueled descriptors.
St-Pierre has not fought for UFC in four years and retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) in Feb. 2019. But, a fun fact about UFC contracts? They never expire. Retiring specifically pauses the contract, leaving St-Pierre in a limbo where he’s not allowed to do anything combat sports related without UFC’s permission.
You’d think after he was one of the sports’ first bona fide superstars, he’d have built up enough good will to be granted this permission. But for some reason, GSP and Dana White don’t seem to get along. St-Pierre decided to retire after the UFC wouldn’t even return his calls about a potential superfight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
So that’s where we’re at: UFC has said no to this fight, and Dana White hates the promoters. But, what about if all the money were going to charity?
That’s a question Triller head cheese, Ryan Kavanaugh, is asking the media.
“We’re trying to hope we can appeal to Dana’s charitable side,” he told ESPN. “I’ve offered $250,000 and I’ve asked others to join in. So, it’s now up to $1 million to a charity of Dana’s choice — to allow GSP to go fight for money in boxing, not UFC. When he knows St-Pierre will never fight again for the UFC.”
St-Pierre also highlighted the charitable nature of the fight when asked to comment on UFC’s refusal.
“For me, it would have been a dream come true,” St-Pierre said. “Because he is my second favorite boxer of all time, behind Sugar Ray Leonard. Plus, a lot of the money made would have been given to charity. So it would have been for a good cause, just to show that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. And it would have been serious competition because you say, I play basketball, I play hockey, but you don’t ‘play’ fighting. It would have been fun.”
Alas, I wouldn’t get your hopes up on UFC saying “yes” to anything involving Triller or Georges St-Pierre. Stick them together, and it’s probably a double no, no matter how many charitable organizations you line up behind the cause.
And don’t even get us started on the beef between Dana and Oscar De La Hoya ...