Retired former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre said Monday that the UFC's new exclusive outfitting deal with Reebok would cost him a lot of money in lost sponsorship cash, so if he is to ever return to fighting he may need to change the terms of his promotional contract.
"It changed a lot of things in my contract," the Canadien said on 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 went on to say that his manager and the UFC are currently discussing a return to competition for him "more seriously." The Under Amour spokesman seems to know where he stands on money he wants to be permitted to earn by representing sponsors of his during fight weeks and has doubtless conveyed that to his management.
St-Pierre actually dealt with a similar situation years ago, when his clothing sponsor Affliction was banned for use by athletes during fight weeks by the UFC after the company got into MMA event promotion in competition with the UFC. Back then, Affliction reportedly paid St-Pierre to wear blank fight shorts.
Afterward, he spoke about it, giving promotion to his sponsor. As things stand now, however, UFC fighters don't seem to have the ability to wear blank shorts, since they are all uniformed by Reebok-branded gear.
Time will tell whether St-Pierre's management and the UFC will sort out these endorsement issues. Assuming they do, St-Pierre is doing what he can to be ready for a potential return.
The notoriously perfectionistic fighter didn't sound completely confident that he could get back to form, years after he last fought. The TriStar team member is training once again but implied that he needs to put more time in and up the intensity to truly guage if and when he should fight.
"I think I'm doing well, and I haven't been active in a long time in the Octagon," he offered.
"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."