Georges St-Pierre vacates title; Whittaker vs. Rockhold set for UFC 221

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For most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, the last legitimate 185-pound title defense came when Luke Rockhold lost his title to Michael Bisping in the summer of previous year.

"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 in a UFC statement.

"If you're sick you're sick, but the fact is, you don't want to fight in the division", Rockhold said.

He added regarding his contracting ulcerative colitis, which he believes was related to his moving up in weight classes, "I did what I did; I learned from my mistakes".

A title bout may be set for next years UFC 221 card as UFC Interim Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker will defend the gold against Luke Rockhold.

With St-Pierre out and his middleweight title vacated, Whittaker will now be crowned undisputed champion after he defeated Yoel Romero back in July to determine an interim champion at the time.

It's feeling more and more like Georges St-Pierre's return to MMA was a one-off feature instead of another long, sustained run.

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He's supposed to defend his title against Robert Whittaker, but he said in an interview with TSN that he likely won't fight at 185.

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.

UFC 221 takes place on February 11 at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia. It should be interesting to see how GSP's new career with the UFC progresses.

Rockhold, on the other hand, surrendered his title in shocking fashion to Bisping at UFC 199 in June 2016.

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

Whittaker (19-4), victor of The Ultimate Fighter: Smashes, initially won the interim title with a hard-fought decision over Yoel Romero in July.

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