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UFC’s impending declaratory judgment & anticipatory breach fight with Georges St. Pierre

By Zach Arnold | October 17, 2016

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Georges St. Pierre wasn’t booked for UFC’s next event in Toronto. Now St. Pierre says he has hired attorney James Quinn to terminate his contract with UFC for failing to meet a contractual deadline. UFC responded with a not-so-veiled threat of impending legal action.

What’s at stake in the impending legal fight?

St. Pierre would likely answer UFC’s lawsuit with his own countersuit. A likely cause of action in that countersuit would involve Breach of implied convenant of good faith and fair dealing. St. Pierre would allege that UFC acted in bad faith and did not meet contractual requirements. St. Pierre claims that new UFC ownership pulled back an offer that Lorenzo Fertitta allegedly worked on bringing the former champion back to active UFC competition.

I would also expect a fight from St. Pierre on grounds that he did not sign a new agreement regarding the Reebok sponsorship agreement. However, GSP has a problem and it’s regarding USADA. He made a declaration that the contract with UFC is terminated. If so, then he is under no obligation to continue USADA drug testing.

But there’s a problem: if he misses a USADA drug test, he will get suspended and that suspension would last through the duration of his UFC contract if a judge upholds the agreement and declares an invalid termination. If St. Pierre continues to agree to USADA drug tests, then UFC can legally use that against him as evidence that St. Pierre is acting as if he is still obligated to the UFC contract.

The court fight will begin. The question is whether or not UFC’s new owners will acquiesce on St. Pierre’s demands and make some money with him or if St. Pierre will be able to negotiate a release from the company. It’s a race to the courthouse now.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 9 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

9 Responses to “UFC’s impending declaratory judgment & anticipatory breach fight with Georges St. Pierre”

  1. Cutch says:

    I believe this all negotiations, he apparently wanted $10 million to come back, with McGregor they don’t need him as much.

    Chapel Sonnen is saying he still does USADA tests because he signed that contract independently from the UFC and probably doesn’t know what to do to get out of it.

  2. Ryan says:

    I guess with new people running the show things may go differently but I’d bet the UFC doesn’t go the declaratory route and instead lets the threat of a lawsuit with anyone dealing with GSP hang over his head. If GSP wants out of his contract, they’ll make him fight them and delay delay delay. Even if they lose and it takes a year or longer, they win because other fighters will see you can’t beat them.

    But Georges has a really strong case. UFC refused to respond to GSP’s manager for months, Dana White shit talking him and saying he wasn’t serious about coming out of retirement. GSP has enough visibility that the facts can’t just be swept under the rug by a judge with connections to Vegas industry. If GSP’s lawyer is good, he’ll win this case. You can’t make a change to the way an independent contractor works that costs them millions of dollars and expect them to work under the old terms of your deal.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    Ryan… But if GSP does win… it might give more fighters courage to buck the system.

    General topic… UFC picked the wrong guy to pull this with. GSP has always been a nice guy who wasn’t a bull buster in contract negotiations. He didn’t have a history like Couture of always leaving. He was loyal and this is how they treat him. Bad message to send the fighters.

    Side note. I had the worst customer service with ufc.TV and I have to now dispute my PPV purchase due to an error on their end that I have proof they caused. Horrible customer service for a long time fan such as myself. I will be purchasing UFC 205 and then looking into the legality of streaming PPVS after that.

  4. Squiber says:

    I’m wondering how much of this is based on the fact gsp is represented by CAA not WME. And the current talent agency “war” going on in Hollywood.

  5. King Famous says:

    Its time the business went back to Japan.

  6. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    Three reasons why ufc is good for GSP.
    #1 Money.
    #2 UFCs ped testing program, which GSP helped herald!
    #3 Maximum potential for local exposure.

    One, rizin and bellator have a few interesting fights for GSP, but none would be in Canada. And it would be hard to find ped free opponents in any of those orgs.
    But if worse comes to worse, Bellator could put on a pretty sweet PPV in canada with GSP Rory vs cans.

    The new zionist owners are cutting costs too close to their necks. A nobody like rockhold can renegotiate his contract with them, but the PPV king gets the long broom treatment? That doesn’t make sense on any level except pure spite. GSP has been black listed.

  7. David M says:

    Weil Gotshal is one of the preeminent law firms in the entire world. There aren’t many fighters who could afford them; GSP is one such fighter. I believe it is more likely than not that UFC will cave here. I haven’t seen the contract, but if it is as draconian and anachronistic as GSP’s lawyer says, then I think the UFC would lose badly. Given that they don’t want that, and given that GSP wants to fight in the UFC, I believe a settlement is the most likely result.

  8. Michael says:

    Couldn’t GSP continue with the USADA programm (who pays for it now, still ufc or would he pay now, like today-now?) and say that he has to do it for his for his sponsors so he has the image of a ‘clean athlete’, something along the lines of that?
    [on a funny sidenote: USADA also wasn't in his contract like reebok wasn't - still he does the usada stuff. boom!]

  9. [...] have to find creative legal ways to combat their decreasing rights under William Morris ownership. Georges St. Pierre indicated that he’s a free agent from UFC but yet backed off publicly this week on the animosity. Highly unlikely that he’s going to [...]

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