Former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture knows a few things about battling the UFC in court, and with Georges St-Pierre’s current situation, he does not see a smooth road ahead for the former dominant welterweight champion.
“They’re going to hire the same lawyers and do the same thing to keep Georges in line and keep Georges fighting for their brand,” Couture told MMAjunkie.
Couture engaged in his legal battle with the UFC from 2007 to 2008 when he too was trying to get out of his UFC contract. Couture was unsuccessful though and ultimately fought again in the Octagon after a year-long hiatus.
“I settled because I was 45 years old,” Couture said. “They were going to drag it out as long as they could and basically try to bankrupt me. I’d already spent $500,000 of my own money to pursue getting away and being able to make the biggest fight of that time happen.”
GSP recently announced he was a free agent, but the UFC contradicted his claim, saying he was most definitely still under contract. With his intention to return to the sport, GSP has wanted to renegotiate his UFC contract following the Reebok deal to ensure he makes the same money he used to. His attempts have seemingly proved unsuccessful.
“At the end of the day, it still boils down to the same issues,” Couture said. “This company has been signing fighters to coercive and literally awful contracts for years. It’s been one of the things that I’ve fought with them over since day one, since they bought the company, over ancillary rights, over (right to match) and retirement clauses, and having a little bit of leverage as their heavyweight champion when they bought the company, we fought over all these things. It’s one of the reasons I’m persona non grata with the company now.”