Georges St-Pierre vacates middleweight championship, UFC confirms

Georges St Pierre beat Michael Bisping at UFC 217

As a result, interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been elevated to the division's official titleholder and will face Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 221 on February 10 in Perth, Australia.

The company also provided The Daily Telegraph with a release which quoted St-Pierre saying: "My fight at UFC 217 was one of the greatest nights of my life".

St-Pierre was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis after the bout and is now undergoing treatment for the disease, but because of the diagnosis, he will be unable to compete for the foreseeable future.

"Of course in terms of weight, if I want to go back to compete at 185, obviously eating like I did what I did, I learned from my mistakes".

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GSP vacated the 185-pound title only a few weeks after defeating Michael Bisping for the belt.

The UFC announced St-Pierre (26-2) had vacated the title on Thursday.

A UFC official confirmed to the Daily Telegraph today that Whittaker would take over St-Pierre's title. It was the first fight for St-Pierre, the former welterweight title-holder, since he stepped away from the sport four years earlier. "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". GSP is battling ulcerative colitis anyway so prior to his recent interview it was expected that the Interim champion, Robert Whittaker would indeed defend his title before challenging for GSP's anyway. He's beaten top contenders Derek Brunson and Ronaldo Souza, and most recently defeated Yoel Romero at UFC 213 this past July in a five-round fight that made him the interim champion.

The 26-year-old Sydneysider is now preparing to face 33-year-old Rockhold (16-3), who this week referred to the Aussie as "the real champ". Due to injuries, he then took some time off, but he returned this past September to stop former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) two-division champion David Branch.

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