Georges St-Pierre vacates middleweight championship, UFC confirms

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But he has made a decision to relinquish the title after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an illness that affects his ability to remain in the 185-pound middleweight class.

Now St-Pierre is the champion at middleweight, with a young and dynamic striker in Robert Whittaker waiting in the shadows to unify his interim title with the Canadian when the opportunity presents itself. MMA journalist Damon Martin later confirmed that GSP would relinquish the belt he won from Michael Bisping at UFC 217.

"Middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre is vacating his world title effective immediately, " the official said.

Since then there was much speculation about whether the two would face each other however due to GSP's battle with colitis the UFC middleweight division will move in a new direction with the Aussie, 26, set to meet former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in Perth's UFC 221 main event. "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".

- Multiple reports say UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will defend his title against Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC 220 on January 20 in Boston.

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

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 will be the first time Perth has hosted a UFC event.

Despite the disappointing news on St-Pierre's side, the UFC is wasting no time moving on with its 185-pound division.

St-Pierre talked about his future as a 185-pound fighter on TSN and is clearly having second thoughts about defending the title he won from Bisping after a four-year hiatus from the sport.

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