The UFC's middleweight division is in a bit of a flux right now, but it seems like the promotion has an answer to that issue.
UFC president Dana White installed a clause in St-Pierre's contract upon his return, mandating that if he beat Bisping for the title, he must defend it. St-Pierre notably avoided questions about defending the title in the immediate afterglow of winning the title in November. The 33-year-old American is a former holder of the middleweight crown, but lost his title by knockout to Bisping at UFC 199.
With St-Pierre out and his middleweight title vacated, Whittaker will now be crowned undisputed champion after he defeated Yoel Romero back in July to determine an interim champion at the time. St-Pierre had been away from the sport for four years and had never competed at 185 pounds before. St-Pierre suggested that the illness might be linked to how he prepared to move up in weight. The announcement comes on the heels of the French-Canadian's interview with TSN where he suggested that he wasn't sure if he'd defend the title.
MMA Fighting first reported the fight.
Rockhold is well established at the top of the division as one of its most skilled strikers and submission grapplers. The man known as "Rush" was then expected to challenge Whittaker in a title unification bout.
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.
Despite the disappointing news on St-Pierre's side, the UFC is wasting no time moving on with its 185-pound division.
What are your thoughts on the UFC planning a match-up between Robert Whittaker and Luke Rockhold? The 36-year-old is now suffering from colitis, and said he did not wish to hold up the UFC's 185-pound division.