In a report on MMAJunkie.com and on other sources, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) and the promotion are reportedly close to agreeing to terms of a new contract. If signed, St. Pierre’s return to UFC may happen in the third quarter of this year, but no date has been finalized.
St. Pierre has not fought since 2013, picking up a close decision victory over Johny Hendricks. He stepped away from the sport after that fight, vacating his welterweight championship. He noted that he wanted changes in how UFC drug tested their fighters. This was at a time when fighters were only tested on fight nights, which made it very easy for fighters to use performance enhancing drugs without being caught.
St. Pierre came to an impasse with UFC, citing other problems such as the promotion’s Reebok deal that prohibited fighters to wear other sponsor logos during fight week. This undercut a deal he had with Under Armour, and when he asked for the difference to be made up in his new deal UFC refused. It was at that point that St. Pierre declared himself a free agent. In the meantime, St. Pierre also aligned himself with the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association to help fight for better treatment of UFC fighters.
There have been indications though, recently, that St. Pierre has reconciled differences with UFC. Dana White noted in a TSN interview that he had spoken to the former champion and worked out those issues, and Michael Bisping, the current middleweight champion, noted in an interview that the company was close to a deal with St. Pierre and talked up the possibility of a fight.
More on this story as it develops.