Quebec’s retired UFC superstar Georges St-Pierre set for involvement in new World Fight League

It appears that St-Pierre is prepared to put Quebec on the UFC map by taking part ownership in the province’s franchise in the upcoming WFL.

A brand-new MMA league is slated for launch in 2023 and Saint-Isidore-born UFC icon Georges St-Pierre looks set to play a major part in Montreal’s role in the new World Fight League (WFL). The WFL is bidding to reshape the landscape of professional MMA, with its franchise-led competition already capturing the imagination of MMA fans across North America and beyond.

The 40-year-old retired from the world of UFC in February 2019, after battling with ulcerative colitis for many months. Around this period, St-Pierre was regularly featured on the latest UFC betting odds lists, with futures markets formed for potential fights against Nate Diaz and the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov Vs Conor McGregor. However, these fights never materialised, with UFC president Dana White keen for St-Pierre to continue fighting at welterweight rather than lightweight.

With nothing in the pipeline, St-Pierre rightly opted to retire and just over 12 months later he was inducted into the Modern Wing of the UFC Hall of Fame for his efforts. Having joined a rare club of UFC fighters to become win belts at multiple weight divisions, St-Pierre had achieved all he could as a fighter in the Octagon. Now it appears he is prepared to put Quebec on the UFC map by taking part ownership in Quebec’s franchise in the upcoming WFL.

MMA journalist Mike Russell has revealed that St-Pierre will team up with David Loiseau to head up the “Montreal Force” franchise. Californian entrepreneur Branden Ware is said to be one of the franchise’s primary backers. His experience in founding the West Coast Fight League could come in handy over time too.

How will the WFL work?

The WFL is being designed to operate in the same way as many of North America’s major league sports. First and foremost, the WFL will feature a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), guaranteeing fair rights and compensation for the league’s fighters. Fighters within each WFL franchise will receive guaranteed contracts, as well as forward-thinking benefits like career-ending insurance and a guaranteed pension plan.

Talk of fair pay for fighters in the WFL will almost certainly prick the ears of many within UFC and other MMA promotions that vehemently believe they are underpaid. Earlier this summer, UFC middleweight hopeful Paulo Costa pulled out from a scheduled fight against Jared Cannonier due to inadequate pay. Costa pointed to the likes of “YouTubers” like Jake Paul that are “showing all disgrace on this business” by raking in the big bucks for exhibition boxing events. The CBA for the new WFL is expected to feature a revenue share between fighters and franchise owners split 50/50 down the middle.

The competition itself will resemble a league format as opposed to a conventional MMA promotion. According to MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, the WFL will comprise “multiple MMA world champions” as well as a clutch of “former respected MMA promoters” and even former and current stars from the “world of NFL, NBA and MMA”. Helwani revealed that six franchises have already signed on the dotted line, with St-Pierre’s Montreal Force thought to be one of that half-dozen keen to make a statement in this new-look format.

The WFL will feature no less than four different conferences. There will be a conference representing North American franchises, as well as conferences for South American, European and African, as well as Asian and Oceana franchises. Each franchise is permitted to have up to 24 fighters within its roster, with no more than three fighters per weight division. Each conference will have a minimum of eight franchises, with a maximum of 24 franchises per conference set to be permitted.

It appears the primary focus is on launching the North American WFL conference first, before seeking to expand elsewhere. For St-Pierre, he will likely to be an excellent ambassador and inspiration for the “Montreal Force” franchise. With a 26-2 record in professional MMA, he is a proven operator that’s mixed it with the best of them – defending his UFC welterweight title an impressive nine times before vacating the belt and taking eventual retirement.