After winning the UFC Middleweight title at UFC 217, Georges St-Pierre has vacated his title. In a statement by the UFC, GSP said his recent health condition played a part in his decision to give up the title. He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis which he is now treating with medication.
“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. 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.”
This means that Robert Whittaker has been promoted to undisputed champion from his previous title of interim champion and will defend his title for the first time at UFC 221. He will take on former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold in the main event which will take place in Whittaker’s home country of Australia, Feb. 10.
Robert Whittaker (19-4) became the interim champion when he defeated Yoel Romero by unanimous decision back at UFC 213 this past July. Whittaker is currently riding an eight fight win streak with wins over Jacare Souza and Derek Brunson, both earning him a performance of the night bonus. He will now defend his title for the first time as undisputed champion.
Luke Rockhold (16-3) won the UFC Middleweight title back at UFC 194 when he defeated Chris Weidman by TKO. He then went on to lose the title by TKO to Michael Bisping in his first title defence at UFC 199. Since then, Rockhold won a submission victory over David Branch at UFC Fight Night 116 back in September.
This fight will headline UFC 221 at the Perth Arena in Western Australia.