Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour and discussed the negotiations behind his return to the UFC. GSP last fought in 2013. He initially took a temporary retirement, citing the need to rest from the pressure of being GSP in the Octagon. He later noted that he was not impressed with your performance enhancing drugs in MMA.
The UFC addressed the PED issue admirably, and eventually negotiation began but fell apart over apparel sponsorship. The UFC has an exclusive deal with Reebok, and GSP reps UnderArmour. That was worked through in time, and now GSP has a title shot at middleweight champion Michael Bisping. The greatest welterweight of all time is happy with the deal, but not perfectly happy.
“To tell you the truth, it’s not exactly what we really wanted, it is still a little bit below what we really wanted in the beginning,” said St-Pierre as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. “But for UFC, it’s more than they were willing to give me, is what they said. So we both are unhappy in a way, which is the middle ground line, so I guess it’s a good thing. It’s like a settlement in court. If both parties are unhappy, I guess it’s a good thing,” said Georges with a laugh.
“The love for the sport – I wanted to be back, the emotional side of it made me accept the deal. I don’t regret it, I am happy. But if you ask me if it’s what we originally wanted, no, it’s not, it is a little bit below. But it is still very good money, very close. We both made concessions on each part, not just one one side, but both sides and that’s why the deal was done.”
“It was only for a four-fight contract. The idea of Bisping came before, first I was texting with Tyron Woodley and Woodley made it public. He text me if I was interested in fighting him and I said, ‘Yes.’ He said let’s do it, and I said let’s do it but need to make sure my contract was, because I don’t have a contract right now.
“Bisping surprised everybody, the way he won the title he show a lot of courage. He stepped up on a short notice fight, knock out Luke Rockhold and, the way it was made, it was very inspirational to me. Bisping has been very outspoken against performance-enhancing drugs like I am. Most of his losses come from guys who took performance enhancing drugs.”