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UFC 221: Robert Whittaker defends middleweight belt against Luke Rockhold

Georges St-Pierre (26-2-0) announced Thursday that he is vacating his middleweight belt that he won at UFC 217 over Michael Bisping to focus on his health.

GSP has been diagnosed with Colitis, which is an inflammation of the colon.

“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,” St-Pierre said to the UFC. “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.”

In the meantime, Robert Whittaker (19-4-0), the former interim champion who has now been elevated to undisputed champion, will defend his newly awarded crown against former champ Luke Rockhold (16-3-0) at UFC 221 in February.

Whittaker, 26, won the interim belt at UFC 213 in July, defeating Yoel Romero. He’ll be taking on Rockhold, a former Strikeforce middleweight titleholder who defeated David Branch in his last bout at UFC Fight Night 116 in September.

UFC 221 is scheduled for Feb. 10 in Perth, Australia.

More bouts are expected to be announced.

@kenaiandrews

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ExtranewsUFC

Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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