St-Pierre says he is a free agent, no longer with UFC; promotion disagrees

Welterweight UFC champion Georges St-Pierre put his belt on his shoulder during a news conference in Montreal on January 23, 2013. Former UFC welterweight champion St-Pierre says he is no longer under contract with the UFC and is a free agent.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

TORONTO - Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre says he is no longer under contract with the UFC and is a free agent, although the promotion disputes that.

The 35-year-old Montreal fighter, who has been on hiatus since November 2013, has been campaigning for a return to action. St-Pierre told the MMA Hour on Monday that his management team had been in negotiations with the UFC since February, with talks eventually focusing on the UFC show in Toronto on Dec. 10.

The fighter said both sides were close to an agreement before the UFC was sold. He waited for weeks before hearing the offer was off the table.

Late Monday night the UFC put out a release saying that St-Pierre is still under contract with the fight promotion's parent company Zuffa.

"Georges St-Pierre remains under an existing agreement with Zuffa, LLC as his MMA promoter," reads the statement. "Zuffa intends to honour its agreement with St-Pierre and reserves its rights under the law to have St-Pierre do the same."

St-Pierre said his lawyer gave the UFC a deadline to give him a fight. On the day of the deadline, he got a letter with a tentative offer to fight former champion Robbie Lawler, who is currently nursing an injury.

St-Pierre told the MMA Hour that his lawyer told him the next day he was a free agent.

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