Just 33 days after winning the UFC Middleweight title from Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in New York City, St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) has vacated the championship, citing uncertainty about his fighting future after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. This strongly supports St-Pierre's claims that he isn't a natural middleweight.
"Of course, in terms of weight, if I want to go back to compete at 185, I will - obviously eating, like I did what I did, I learned from my mistakes, I don't think it's a good thing to do, force myself to eat to gain muscle mass".
Before his lengthy hiatus began following a successful UFC welterweight title defence against Johny Hendricks in November 2013, GSP only competed in the 170-pound division.
St-Pierre was in talks to fight Whittaker but the Canadian has not been fully healthy since his sensational win by submission over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in NY, and GSP didn't want to stall any longer.
When St-Pierre defeated Bisping at UFC 217, he stated numerous times that it was contractually obligated that he defend the belt but health issues have put him on the sidelines for an undetermined amount of time.
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Whittaker vs Rockhold may very well be the greatest matchup you can make at 185 lbs right now so there is no doubt that this will be a fantastic fight.
St-Pierre's decision to relinquish the title means he is the first fighter in UFC history to vacate two championship belts.
Whittaker, who is born in New Zealand but resides in Sydney, will defend his title against Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in the main event of UFC 221, which takes place February 10 in Perth, Australia. The former champ Rockhold, meanwhile, is coming off a stoppage win over David Branch in September. It should be interesting to see how GSP's new career with the UFC progresses.