Georges St-Pierre declared himself a “free agent” on Monday after he claimed that his attorney terminated with contract with the UFC. GSP might be open to looking for opportunities outside of the UFC, but here are five reasons he could end up returning to the Octagon.
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In any other promotion, St-Pierre would need additional pay-per-view points and huge sponsorship dollars to come close to earning what the UFC can -- emphasis on can -- afford to pay him. GSP’s return to the Octagon will likely sell a million pay-per-views, and partnering him with the right opponent could see it approach the record set by McGregor vs. Diaz II earlier this year. GSP is going to make a lot of money regardless of the promotion. But if he wants to add as many zeroes as possible to his bank account, he’s probably best served working thing out with the UFC.
If GSP does decide to return to the UFC, he would be welcomed by a division much deeper than when he left. The man that last challenged him for his belt, Johny Hendricks, has lost two straight while falling out of the top five, and the rest of the division is ruled by new faces like champion Tyron Woodley, Stephen Thompson, Robbie Lawler and Demian Maia -- all of which are intriguing matchups for St-Pierre.
St-Pierre is already one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the Octagon, but if he can reclaim his belt, then defend it against the aforementioned murder’s row of talented welterweights, he’ll likely go down as the GOAT. St-Pierre is the longest reigning welterweight champion in UFC history, and frankly, a belt in another promotion won’t do much for him. Winning the UFC title for the third time might be too enticing off an accomplishment for St-Pierre to give up.
They say home is where the heart is, and the UFC is GSP’s fighting home. St-Pierre has fought for other promotions, but his nine-year partnership with the UFC has been fruitful for both parties. GSP and Dana White may have had their disagreements but they’ve also worked together to set UFC records. Not to mention, GSP knows the ins-and-outs of a UFC fight week, and what will be asked of him in regards to promoting the fight. Of course, things might have changed a little since GSP retired three years ago, but that’s still easier than getting acclimated with an entirely new promotion.
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Not even 24 hours after GSP announced that his attorney had terminated his contract with the UFC and that he was a free agent, the UFC released a statement refuting that claim, saying that the St-Pierre was still under an “existing agreement with Zuffa, LLC as his MMA promoter." If both sides continue to challenge the language in St-Pierre’s contract, this could be a fight held in the courtroom instead of the Octagon. Any type of litigation would surely sideline GSP for the duration, and at 33 years old and three years already on the sidelines, he can’t afford to miss much more time than he already has.