GSP Vacates Middleweight Title, Whittaker Vs Rockhold At UFC 221

Georges St Pierre has been forced to vacate his UFC middleweight belt due to ill health

Georges St Pierre has been forced to vacate his UFC middleweight belt due to ill health

The 33-year-old American is a former holder of the middleweight crown, but lost his title by knockout to Bisping at UFC 199.

When St-Pierre defeated Bisping at UFC 217, he stated numerous times that it was contractually obligated that he defend the belt but health issues have put him on the sidelines for an undetermined amount of time. Ariel Helwani broke the news that former UFC and Strikeforce Middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold would be the next man to challenge for a UFC Middleweight title.

St-Pierre had previously won his 185-pound title at UFC 217 in November wit ha third-round submission win over then-champion Michael Bisping.

Now, just over a month later, UFC has confirmed GSP has vacated the title due to health concerns, leaving Robert Whittaker and Luke Rockhold to go toe to toe for the vacant MW championship.

The middleweight division will move forward without Georges St-Pierre at the helm.

He vacates just a month after winning it with a third-round submission of Michael Bisping
He vacates just a month after winning it with a third-round submission of Michael Bisping

Recently MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani reported that the UFC was looking at Whittaker - Rockhold for the Perth, Australia card, and now the outlet's reporting the bout is nearly finalized.

The long-time serving president had previously stated he would be "super pissed" if St-Pierre didn't defend the belt against Whittaker. "Out of respect to the athletes and the sport, I don't want to hold up the division".

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. MMA journalist posted on Twitter that it is "unclear at this time if Whittaker-Rockhold at UFC 221 would be for the interim or official belt, though".

Whittaker's attention will now turn to Rockhold (16-3), who is coming off a TKO win over David Branch in September.

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