March 24, 2018

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

08 December 2017, 08:43 | Joan Schultz

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

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

Last week, UFC president Dana White told members of the MMA media that he would be more than a little annoyed if St-Pierre attempted to renege on the agreement he signed.

St. Pierre issued a statement explaining he needed to focus on his health and is looking forward to working with the UFC to determine the next chapter in his professional life.

"I did what I did; I learned from my mistakes", said St-Pierre, who seems to attribute a recent bout of colitis to his calorific pre-UFC 217 diet.

"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". The French-Canadian MMA superstar - who could arguably be considered one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time - returned to the cage after a four-year hiatus to beat former Middleweight Champion "The Count" Michael Bisping via a rear naked choke.

UFC officials confirmed the news on Thursday.

St-Pierre's title reign ends at just 33 days, which is the shortest in UFC history. Do you think that this is the right step for the UFC's 185-pound division?

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Whittaker (19-4) won the interim championship in July by defeating Yoel Romero via unanimous decision.

Following the announcement, interim champion Robert Whittaker will defend the title against former champion Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 221 in Australia on Saturday, Feb. 10.

"The Reaper" will bring one of the UFC's longest winning streaks into the event.

St-Pierre was in talks to fight Whittaker but the Canadian has not been fully healthy since his sensational win by submission over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in NY, and GSP didn't want to stall any longer.

Meanwhile, Whittaker has won his past eight fights, and his last seven since moving up in weight-class from the welterweight division.

Mike Bohn is Rolling Stone's combat sports reporter.

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