Oscar De La Hoya will return to the ring on September 11 and will play an exhibition match against Vitor Belfort. The Brazilian actually came here as a replacement fighter, as the match against the originally planned failed to be arranged.
It’s about Georges St-Pierre, the legendary UFC champion who was interested in that match but it didn’t happen for a simple reason. Although he has retired, GSP still has a valid contract with the UFC and if he decides to activate, his longtime employer would have to give permission to do so, in case he doesn’t intend to fight with them.
So GSP was left without a match that he really wanted to do, and he told what was happening in a conversation with Ariel Helwani within his MMA Hour show. "I think it would be fun to do that match. My mission of proving I'm the best fighter in the MMA world is over.
I'm 40. But something fun that would motivate me, that would also secure a lot of my money for charity, and that it would be a fight against a legend like De La Hoya, I would definitely do something like that." "I would do that match not because I believe I am a better boxer than De La Hoya was in his best period, but I simply believe he is more worn-out than me."
" I'm still in great shape, I'm younger and I fought in a heavier category than him. I think it would be a fair fight that fans would like to see, "GSP said. Unfortunately, as stated, Dana White used the right given to him by Georges' still current contract with the UFC and banned him from performing.
The Canadian tried to persuade his former employer, but he did not intend to allow anything related to De La Hoya, but also the Thriller organization, to which he had already sent a series of insults. "I called former UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta to try to convince Dana.
He liked the idea, but Dana just didn't want to. I know he hates the Oscars so I told him I would make the Oscars bad in that match because I'm in great form, I kept the form I was in all the time, and I would do a boxing training camp with Freddie Roach and his world champions in the gym."
"Oscar has not been in those best years for a long time, and I have remained active all the time. I would take the fight seriously, I would give one hundred percent because my name would still be related to that fight."
"I told him that I am convinced that there is no better MMA fighter who would go to boxing and look good in a situation like that" he tried to reassure the solid White, but to no avail.
Dana White gave an answer
He then revealed what kind of offer the UFC president had given him in the other direction.
"He refused, and then he thought about it and came back to me with a statement that the problem is not the eventual Oscar victory but he doesn't want Triller making money on me while I'm still under contract with the UFC."
"But watch this, Dana then called me and asked if I wanted to fight Khabib. I told Dana that his offer was strange since he wasn't interested in that fight a couple of years ago when we asked for it." "Why is it all of a sudden now? He said it was because Khabib was retired and he is no longer a fighter as he was.
Now that fight made sense to him." "Although I didn't want that fight, I was curious so I told him I would think. Shortly afterward, I saw a statement in the media that I was seeking a fight against Khabib."
"Which isn’t true, I was looking for it a long time ago and I’m not looking for it anymore. We're both retired and that's fine with me. " "GSP explained as he recognized what White wanted to achieve: "Dana White got a lot of negatives from the media because he didn't let me fight so he asked me to fight Khabib expecting a negative answer."
"So he would have a good argument for the media, he could tell them I refused to fight for them and I would fight someone else." "That's why I decided to wait and it turned out I was right. Khabib obviously refused that fight, but that doesn't mean I was willing to say yes.
I just recognized Dana's bluff. It wasn't a classic bluff, but he needed something for everything he got from the media. "