Georges St-Pierre Vacates Belt; Robert Whittaker Faces Luke Rockhold for Undisputed Title at UFC 221
There is a new undisputed UFC middleweight champion.
Just over a month after winning the belt, Georges St-Pierre has vacated the UFC middleweight title to focus on his health after he was recently diagnosed with colitis, which will keep him out of action for an undetermined amount of time.
With St-Pierre sidelined, he has decided to surrender the middleweight title to allow the division to move forward without him.
“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. Out of respect to the athletes and the sport, I don’t want to hold up the division,” St-Pierre said in a statement. “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.”
Now that St-Pierre has vacated his title, Robert Whittaker has been promoted to undisputed champion after first winning the interim belt back in July with a victory against Yoel Romero.
Whittaker will now get the chance to defend his title against former champion Luke Rockhold in the new main event for UFC 221 on Feb. 10 in Perth, Australia.
Whittaker is currently riding an eight-fight win streak including seven victories in the middleweight division. The former “Ultimate Fighter” winner has put together one of the most impressive resumes at 185 pounds with recent wins over Romero, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Derek Brunson.
As for Rockhold, he takes the fight after returning to action in September with a second round submission victory against David Branch. It was Rockhold’s first fight back after losing the middleweight title to Michael Bisping at UFC 199 in June 2016.
Now Rockhold will attempt to win back the belt while taking on one of the most ferocious middleweights in recent UFC history.