The UFC announced earlier Thursday that George St. Pierre has, effective immediately, vacated his middleweight title.
St. Pierre captured the middleweight crown at UFC 216, after being retired for four years, by defeating Michael Bisping. The victory made St. Pierre only the fourth fighter in the promotion’s history to hold crowns in more than one division.
GSP released this statement via the UFC:
“My fight at UFC 217 was one of the greatest nights of my life but I now need to take some time to focus on my health. Out of respect to the athletes and the sport, I don’t want to hold up the division. 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.”
Interim title holder Robert Whitaker will now be promoted to the undisputed middleweight champion.
Whitaker’s first title defense will be February 10 at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia against third ranked and former champ Luke Rockhold.