Georges St-Pierre’s reign as middleweight champion lasted just 34 days. The former welterweight star who came out of a four-year layoff to take on Michael Bisping at UFC 217 is no longer the champion of the 185-pound division.
The new UFC middleweight champion GSP was contracted to fight Robert Whittaker after he threw Michael Bisping, but his medical issues have led him to say he might never be able to fight at middleweight division again. This left the UFC in a tough position, and they didn’t take long to go a different route.
A statement from St. Pierre:
“My fight at UFC 217 was one of the greatest nights of my life but I now need to take some time to focus on my health,” St. Pierre said. “Out of respect to the athletes and the sport, I don’t want to hold up the division. I will be giving up my belt and once I’m healthy I look forward to working with the UFC to determine what’s next in my career.”
As per MMAFighting, interim strap-holder Robert Whittaker (who was elevated to full-time champion) and former champion Luke Rockhold will face off for the 185-pound belt at UFC 221 on Feb. 11.
🇦🇺 Perth, we've got a main event!!
GSP vacates, 🏆 @RobWhittakerMMA defends the title against @LukeRockhold at #UFC221 Feb. 10!
FULL STORY ➡️ https://t.co/LeaXU08tsa
Pre-register ➡️ https://t.co/CWkOKi23qs pic.twitter.com/MALbQbkD0w
— UFC (@ufc) December 8, 2017
Whittaker has been out of action since beating Yoel Romero for the interim title at UFC 213 in July where he suffered a knee injury, he is on an eight-fight win streak overall. Rockhold is coming off an impressive victory over David Branch in September.
UFC 221 goes down on February 11th (February 10th in North America) at the Perth Arena in Perth, Australia.