By Zach Arnold | October 17, 2016
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?
- Declaratory judgment – UFC will likely petition Clark County court in Las Vegas to have a judge declare their contractual rights with St. Pierre in order to prevent a contract termination.
- Anticipatory breach – St. Pierre’s public declaration that he hired an attorney to terminate his contract will be used as a cause of action and grounds for either an injunction or damages should he sign a contract with Bellator.
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.