UFC welterweight champion Georges St Pierre will star in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, playing the role of French mercenary Batroc the Leaper. Production hasn't begun on the film yet, but it's expected to begin filming in May.
Now, here's why this is so relevant to the UFC: St Pierre is the company's biggest draw, and his role in the film will likely take him out of any potential fight until the end of the year at the earliest. St Pierre's last seven fights on PPV have led to at least 700,000 buys, levels that no other UFC fighter (not even Anderson Silva) can match. With him out of action until the end of the year, the UFC will be missing their top draw for a fall schedule that is currently a blank slate.
It's going to be interesting to see what the pay-per-view and Fox cards past what's already announced will look like with GSP out of the picture for now, and all of the UFC's other champions already booked for fights in the coming months. The UFC is banking on a November show at Madison Square Garden being headlined by Jon Jones, potentially against Silva in a huge superfight. If those two get tied up in that fight, the UFC will likely be banking on Cain Velasquez escaping his title defense against Antonio Silva in May healthy and being able to headline a card sometime in the fall. Ideally, St Pierre would be able to return for the New Year's card to defend his title while the lighter weight champions (Jose Aldo, Benson Henderson, Demetrious Johnson, Renan Barao) continue to highlight free TV shows in the fall.
The UFC has a lot of their wagon hitched to St Pierre, and the company's buyrates slagged during the 18 months he missed with a torn ACL. The company has been in good shape since his return, but things could spiral out of control with him out of action. Couple that with Ronda Rousey coaching The Ultimate Fighter and knocking her out of action for the summer as well, and the UFC needs to keep pushing forward and building stars to avoid relying too heavily on their proven draws.