UPDATE: The UFC has just released a statement revealing Georges St-Pierre has given up the middleweight title, making Robert Whittaker the undisputed middleweight champion. His fight against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 is official and will be for the belt.
It sounds like Robert Whittaker is getting his big fight in Australia, GSP be damned. The new UFC middleweight champ has been sounding mighty wishy washy about defending his belt, and a bout of colitis that may be related to Georges' move up may be the determining factor in a decision to drop the belt.
With that in mind, the UFC has reportedly gone ahead and slated Robert Whittaker vs. Luke Rockhold to headline UFC 221 on February 11th in Perth, Australia. The UFC's plans were confirmed by MMA Fighting.
It's still unclear whether the UFC will strip Georges St-Pierre of the 185 pound belt, but GSP said earlier that he had no plan on holding up the division regardless of his decision. Plus Dana White had said he'd be super pissed if St-Pierre didn't defend like he promised to, so we imagine that could speed up the stripping process as well. With time ticking down for the big event in Perth, the UFC needs to sell them tickets!
Whittaker managed to pull himself above the middleweight pack during the long period of disarray caused by Michael Bisping's title reign, defeating Derek Brunson, "Jacare" Souza, and Yoel Romero to take the interim 185 pound belt. Meanwhile, Luke Rockhold has mainly been sitting on the sidelines since losing the belt to Bisping in June of 2016, but he does have an impressive win over David Branch from earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Kelvin Gastelum be like...
A: Fought only once in 18 months against someone who wasnt even competing in the ufc a year ago.— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) December 6, 2017
B: Fought 4 times in 12 months, 3 of them in the main event in the last 8 months against former champions ranked in top 10 of the division. *Doesn’t have a modeling career. ♂️
It’s been a long 18 months of fighting, training and fighting again and again. I guess I should have taken those 18 months off ,instead to get a title fight.— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) December 6, 2017