Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will make its debut in Perth, Australia, this coming February and want local hero Robert Whittaker, who also happens to hold the promotion’s interim middleweight strap, to headline the event.
Unfortunately for “The Reaper,” and UFC matchmakers, that decision rests solely on newly-crowned 185-pound champion Georges St-Pierre, who upset the middleweight apple cart by choking out Michael Bisping at UFC 217.
“I think, as you guys know, the X factor right now is how Georges is doing,” UFC vice president of international content, Dave Shaw, told MMAjunkie.com. “Listen, bottom line is that we want to have Robbie fight in Perth.”
“The stars are sort of aligning for that event, having a pay-per-view there. It’s probably going to come down to Georges,” he continued. “Three months for anybody is a quick turnaround, so if we an line up that fight, that’d be amazing. But there’s no real update at this point.”
St-Pierre is taking time off to heal his mind and body in the wake of his “Big Apple” win earlier this month, and refused to make any sort of commitments to his future in mixed martial arts (MMA), which may include a return to welterweight.
It would make little sense for Whittaker to fight if he can’t unify the straps so until “Rush” can make a decision, the promotion is stuck in a holding pattern. I guess to quote Tony Ferguson, who faces a similar situation at 155 pounds, defend or vacate.