It must be nice to be rich. Not only do you never have to worry about where your next meal’s coming from, but you can freely speak your mind without fear of repercussions.
That’s the glorious life former UFC welterweight champion turned whistleblower Georges St-Pierre (pictured) now leads.
St-Pierre has had plenty to say about the UFC since relinquishing his title to “take a break from MMA” back in 2013. One of the primary reasons he wanted to walk at the peak of his illustrious career was because of the lax drug testing policy that his former employer had in place.
The UFC announced earlier this year they were going to invest millions annually to revamp their drug screening program, partnering with USADA to conduct year-round, random drug tests. Cheaters will now be issued lengthy suspensions.
St-Pierre isn’t taking credit for the UFC’s new stance on performance-enhancing drugs, but he’s more than happy to be fighters’ mouthpiece because he no longer needs to worry about the consequences like current UFC athletes.
“I have my place among the UFC and I’m wealthy now,” St-Pierre said during Wednesday’s GLORY Kickboxing media day in Las Vegas. “A few years ago, I didn’t make as much money. It was easy for people to say, ‘Oh yeah? You talking bad about us? Out! You’re out! We don’t hire you.’ There are a lot of guys in the same situation. They think the same things as me, but they don’t have the power I have. I don’t need to fight anymore. If I don’t want to fight, I am wealthy, I am happy. I don’t need this anymore if I don’t have to. Maybe I would like to, but I don’t need to.
“Some of the guys, when you’re a professional athlete, it’s not a jet-set life. It’s a very hard life. These guys, they don’t make a lot of money. They need to keep their mouths shut. If you open and say what you think, you saw what happened in the Reebok thing. If you talk bad about certain things you’re kicked out.”
Speaking of Reebok, the UFC’s new exclusive partnership with the sports apparel company may present a significant roadblock in St-Pierre’s potential return to the cage. St-Pierre has been sponsored exclusively by Under Armour for his athletic clothing for many years and is tied to Hayabusa for equipment.
If/when that day comes for a return to action, St-Pierre says Reebok will be an issue for him.
“It’s a management battle, it’s not my battle. It’s not my fight, it’s my management. It’s a contractual thing,” St-Pierre said of his exclusive endorsement deals. “I’m not qualified to answer your question. I can answer you in an emotional way, but that’s not the way to do it. My contract is different than some of the fighters’ contracts.”