One of the biggest stars in MMA is in a battle with the UFC, and many fans and analysts are wondering, is George St. Pierre retiring?.
It’s been nearly three years since George ‘Rush’ St. Pierre last fought inside the UFC octagon. He left the sport in a way that almost every fighter wishes they could; on top with millions of dollars in the bank. He never claimed to retire, but month after month it seemed more likely that he was finished with the fight game.
St. Pierre vs. Tyron Woodley Betting Odds
- George St. Pierre: -150
- Tyron Woodley: +120
- Draw: +2500
Then, St. Pierre made Canadian gambling news by telling Ariel Helwani that he planned to start a training camp to gauge how he felt preparing for a fight. All reports claimed that he was feeling better than ever during that camp, and suddenly it seemed like ‘Rush’ might actually get back in the cage.
Almost immediately after talks that St. Pierre might fight again began circulating, Canadian sports betting sites such as NetBet Sportsbook began setting the betting lines for his potential future fights. Even now, St. Pierre is listed as a -150 favorite to defeat the current champion, Tyron Woodley.
What’s Keeping St. Pierre from Returning?
When GSP left the UFC in 2013, the sport was in a totally different place. The Reebok deal had not yet been implemented, and the fighters were free to promote their sponsors while inside the Octagon. St. Pierre had perhaps the most lucrative sponsorships in the sport at the time, sporting brands such as Under Armour and Gatorade.
There’s no denying that the Reebok deal would be costing GSP millions of dollars. He has told the media he would be willing to renegotiate a deal with the UFC in order to compensate for the money lost, but as of now the UFC seems unwilling to meet St. Pierre’s demands. Unless some compromise between the two parties is made, it becomes likely that St. Pierre is retiring.
Could GSP Fight in Another Organization?
The UFC is extremely strict on their rights to hold fighters to their contracts. It seems likely that they would do anything they could to keep one of their biggest stars inside their organization, even if it meant legal action.
Despite claims that St. Pierre is a free agent, he has an exclusive contract with the UFC and will most likely be obligated to fight out this contract before he can move to another promotion. His lawyer has recently equated the UFC’s contract system as “slavery,” which could be an indication that GSP is stuck.
If he returns, who will GSP be facing?
While the return of GSP is still far from a done deal, it hasn’t stopped many online sportsbooks in Canada from predicting who he might face. There are two names which continue to be brought up, one of which is the current welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley. The other is former middleweight champion and long-time pound for pound best, Anderson Silva.
As we stated before, GSP is already the betting favorite for the hypothetical match against Woodley, but it remains to be seen whether NetBet Sportsbook would list St. Pierre as a favorite against the much larger and more experienced Anderson Silva.
For now, those two names seem the most likely for GSP to face in his comeback. Another name floating around the MMA community is Robbie Lawler, but at this point that seems like a high-risk, low-reward type fight for GSP, and won’t happen unless for a title. Of course, a St. Pierre vs. McGregor fight would create an online gambling Ireland frenzy, but that seems unlikely anytime soon.
So… Is George St. Pierre retiring?
The back and forth between GSP and Dana White has not exactly been useful to the media. Both are stating completely different things, and appear at some times to want to damage the other’s reputation. At this point, no one really knows if George St. Pierre is retiring, and it may be sometime before we get a clear answer to his future.
Most fans of MMA would love to see George St. Pierre back fighting again. He accomplished so much in the sport, and with three years off there are many new match ups that would be intriguing. You can certainly bet on GSP wanting to fight again, but at this point it seems to all come down to the contract negotiations.
Do you think George St. Pierre is retiring? Is Dana White right in saying he doesn’t really want to fight? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below, and make sure to check out NetBet Sportsbook to find the best betting lines for MMA!