The UFC gambling odds of Georges St-Pierre coming out of retirement seemingly depend on contract negotiations and sponsorship deals – which is basically just business as usual. The UFC’s new exclusive outfitting deal with Reebok “changed a lot of things in my contract,” St-Pierre told The MMA Hour. “We maybe need to renegotiate a new contract. I’m not allowed to wear my sponsors anymore, and I lose money. It depends how it’s gonna go down with the UFC.” He added that the UFC and his manager are currently in talks for a return to competition. “If I feel good, I'll give the thumbs up to my manager,” GSP said. “They've been talking with UFC, but now they're going to talk more seriously to see what's gonna happen.”
The Canadian martial artists is sponsored by American sports clothing and accessories company Under Armour, and wants to be allowed to represent said company during fight weeks – and get paid to do it, of course. GSP has found himself in similar circumstances in the past, for instance when the UFC banned his former sponsor Affliction during fight week after the clothing company got into MMA event promotion in competition with the UFC – like the former wouldn’t be favored by sportsbooks if they calculated the UFC gambling odds against other companies. Currently, UFC fighters are uniformly uniformed by Reebok, so they don’t seem to be able to wear blank shorts.
Aside from endorsement issues, The TriStar team member is training but didn’t sound entirely persuaded that he could get back in shape years after his last bout – a split decision win vs. Johny Hendricks –, implying he needs more time, as well as to turn up the intensity dial to 11. “I think I’m doing well, and I haven’t been active in a long time in the Octagon,” he said. “You can be in the gym, but the Octagon is a different thing. I need to make sure if I do this, I need to do my tryout first, push myself to see if my body and I really want to do this again, go through that training camp. I need to be testing it. I don’t want to do it and in the middle of my real training camp, be like, ‘Oh, I don’t feel comfortable doing this.’ And then I mess up everything and I come back and make a fool of myself. I want to make sure if I go back, I’m at my best. There’s no stone unturned, if you know what I mean.”
In addition to feeling tired and burnt out, St-Pierre was concerned about performance-enhancing drugs in the sport – which after winning 12 straight fights and going without a loss for six years was about the only way he could have gotten some real competition. But the UFC has a new anti-doping system that, while “not perfect,” is a definite improvement.