While not officially announced by the promotion, the UFC appears to be making moves towards stripping the current middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre. The promotion is now putting together an undisputed title fight between interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and Luke Rockhold at UFC 221.
Rockhold, the former division champion will take on current interim champion Robert Whittaker in the UFC 221 main event.
The UFC’s original plan was to place GSP vs. Whittaker on the card, however GSP’s recent statement, where he said his return to 185 is unlikely, has pressed the issue and forced a replacement in the form of Luke Rockhold.
GSP told the Canadian press this week, “I’m not sure if I compete I will go back at 185. I don’t think so.”
UFC 221 is set to go down on Feb. 10 in Perth, Western Australia.
Whittaker won the UFC’s interim strap after a dominant win over top contender Yoel Romero. This came after then champion Michael Bisping had been out of action for an extended period, while waiting for GSP and the UFC to come to terms for a fight.
Whittaker, has been considered by his middleweight peers as the true division’s champion, despite both Bisping and GSP holding the undisputed world title during his reign.
Respected MMA Journalist Ariel Helwani says that GSP being stripped of his world title is the likely next step.
UFC president Dana White recently revealed that if GSP didn’t defend his belt, or made any statements like the one above, he would be “Super Pissed”…
“I don’t want to hear that. That’s not what I want to hear. I want to hear he’s going to defend his 185-pound title. That’s the agreement we made. That’s the deal we made when we made the deal.”
“I’m going to be super pissed (if St-Pierre wants to drop the title), and I don’t know where we go from there. Go to 170 — who’s better to fight at 170? You’ve got (Tyron) Woodley, you’ve got ‘Wonderboy,’ you’ve got (Yoel) Romero, and then you’ve got Luke Rockhold. F*cking monsters. They’re all monsters. There’s no fight that looks like, ‘Oh, maybe this is the fight for me to take.’ You looked at Bisping like he was a tune-up. You got your tune-up. There’s nothing but f*cking animals at ’85 and ’70.”