Just days after announcing that he was departing the UFC and becoming a free agent, Georges St-Pierre quickly realized that couldn’t be further from the truth. A misunderstanding of his contract was quickly brought to the forefront, which has his lawyer, James Quinn, saying, “They’re basically tying him up for life. They have no rights and they own all his licensing and all the other things. It’s unheard of in other professional sports. And they won’t get away with it forever.”
Never mind the logistically nightmare that would stem from telling St-Pierre to compete in a fight he chose not to be, but the situation has brought the issue of how UFC contracts are constructed to light. Quinn chose to even compare the structure of the deal to “something out of the 1940s,” in reference to the restrictive nature of the deals. (This was long before any other sport had “free agency” or a “Players association.”
St-Pierre announced his retirement from the sport in December 2013, vacating the UFC Welterweight Championship after nine consecutive defenses of the belt. He first won the strap back in December 2007 and held it all the way until his relinquishment, which came after his most recent fight in November 2013.
The 35-year-old fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, currently sits at 25-2 in his professional career, with his last loss in the ring coming back in April 2007. While his future remains up in the air, St-Pierre’s retirement remains in effect, even if he is fighting a losing battle against the mega-conglomerate known as the UFC.