GSP’s legal team maintains UFC breached contract

October 18, 2016

Georges St-Pierre’s legal team has maintained that the former welterweight champ’s contract with the UFC is over due to the company’s breach per an ESPN report.

After GSP proclaimed that he was a “free agent” in an interview Monday on The MMA Hour, the UFC rebutted the statement with one of its own stating that he was still contractually obligated to fight for the company.

GSP’s lawyer, Jim Quinn of the law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges out of New York, maintains that GSP’s contract is terminated.  He indicated that the UFC could take legal action or offer a new contract to the fighter.

One of the issues GSP’s lawyers contend that caused a breach was the lack of fights given the St-Pierre.  His lawyers state he has never received an actual bout agreement.  St-Pierre’s lawyers gave the UFC 10 days to offer St-Pierre a fight.  According to his laweyrs, the UFC responded on the final day in which it offered St-Pierre former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.  But that did not come to fruition.

GSP’s current contract was signed in 2011 per ESPN.  Of course, the UFC has evolved since then.  Notably, as pointed out in the story, is that the UFC has Reebok as its official clothier.  Also, fighters are no longer able to have outside sponsors (aside from official UFC sponsors) to promote during fight week.  St-Pierre had (or has) a deal with Under Armour in addition to other non-UFC sponsors.

Although not mentioned in the ESPN story, the UFC anti-doping policy came into effect in 2015.  It’s not known whether GSP signed an addendum to his contract binding him to USADA testing.

Payout Perspective:

It appears we may have a new legal dispute on our hands.  To be fair, GSP’s lawyers gave an artificial deadline (unless a 10-day deadline to settle this type of dispute was set forth in GSP’s contract) for the UFC to offer St-Pierre a fight.  But, it seems that the UFC could have made strides to keep GSP either by offering a fight and/or come to a contract extension under new financial terms.  Whether or not an actual bout agreement is mandatory as an offer for a fight appears to be a big question in this legal dispute.  We will see if the parties will attempt to resolve the situation short of a lawsuit.

8 Responses to “GSP’s legal team maintains UFC breached contract”

  1. Wil on October 19th, 2016 3:02 AM

    I am thoroughly enjoying seeing GSP flex his star muscle against Dana White. GSP is in the drivers seat and he knows it. The ratings for UFC show a steady decline in viewership across the board save for McGregor….which is the reason the UFC is making a dash for Bellator style gimmick fights lately as well as bringing back Rousey and an attempt to lure GSP out of retirement. The UFC definitely needs GSP more than GSP needs them. GSP could go to Bellator (which has at times out rated even UFC on FOX let alone FS1) and break 3m viewers. Cough up the money Dana White, pay the man what he is worth or further see the organization fall while others rise.

  2. d on October 19th, 2016 7:18 AM

    Should be interesting to see how this one works out. Lawler has just come out and said he would fight GSP right now, so it seems he was just using that as some sort of excuse. Regardless though, that doesn’t mean that legally the UFC didn’t fulfill the contract. He likely is just leveraging them for a better deal.

    On a side note the UFC ratings are at an all time high, in practically every category.

  3. mmaguru on October 19th, 2016 11:48 AM

    According to the lawyer, the 10-day deadline is in his agreement, hence the UFC offering him Lawler at the 11th hour, a clever move but not something that would hold up in court as there was no bout agreement attached to the offer.

    This seems nothing more than a play by GSP and his team to force the UFC to the table to re-negotiate his old contract as it is now null and void. UFC will not take legal action unless there is information that suggests that GSPs team is talking to other organizations. Bellator will definitely refrain from negotiations with GSP unless the UFC moves from their position. Other organizations are not at play, so this leaves GSP and his team with the UFC to figure things out.

  4. MMA Numbers on October 19th, 2016 4:51 PM
  5. d on October 19th, 2016 5:09 PM

    ” The ratings were hampered due to some major markets including Detroit and Las Vegas showing the *fight* on tape delay or on another station.”

    Reading is fundamental.

    You also glossed over this I’m assuming:

    http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2016/7/27/12297580/ufc-on-fox-20-peaks-at-nearly-4-7-million-viewers-for-holm-vs-shevchenko-mma-news

    The fact is the tv ratings have been steady on FOX, and on FS1 they continue to climb. UFC ppv is going to break last year’s record, just goes to show this sport and promotion is at an all time high.

  6. saldathief on October 20th, 2016 10:32 PM

    GSP is over! Cant pass any of the drug tests, has too many injuries and is soft from being out of the game. One or 2 fights with picked opponents if that and he will fail the test. NEXT

  7. d on October 21st, 2016 6:22 AM

    Wow. Sal is back. That was about a year and a half hiatus. Now, we really can see the boxing t.rolls coming out of the woodwork.

  8. d on October 21st, 2016 6:23 AM

    Oh, and by the way, GSP already signed up with USADA, and has had preliminary testing.

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