The moment that Georges St-Pierre won the middleweight title against Michael Bisping at UFC 217, skeptics were concerned that the former welterweight champion may not stay in the division long enough to defend the title.
It appears that those skeptics may have been spot on with their assessment.
St-Pierre talked about his future as a 185-pound fighter on TSN and is clearly having second thoughts about defending the title he won from Bisping after a four-year hiatus from the sport.
“We’ll talk about it, but I’m not sure if I compete I will go back at 185,” St-Pierre said. “I don’t think so.”
Many assumed that the only reason GSP decided to compete in a higher weight class was because he saw a vulnerable champion that he could beat. If St-Pierre were to defend the title, he’d have to face the heavy handed interim champion Robert Whittaker, who has been extremely impressive with an eight-fight winning streak. The future of the middleweight champion is up in the air after Dana White announced that GSP was suffering from colitis and was unsure when he’d return to the Octagon. St-Pierre suggested that the illness might be linked to how he prepared to move up in weight.
But if you ask former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, GSP’s plan all along was to beat the easiest middleweight he could find and avoid everyone else.
“He’s not fighting any of us,” Rockhold said on The MMA Hour. “He’s too small. Guys like me would feast on Georges. He won’t last here. He had his opportunity, he got his belt, good for you. Just move along and let us handle our business here.”
Rockhold wouldn’t completely discount that St-Pierre was dealing with an illness, but believes that it only aides the champion’s plan to depart the division and head back to 170.
“If you’re sick you’re sick, but the fact is, you don’t want to fight in the division,” Rockhold said.
As a result, there are reports that a possible showdown between Rockhold and Whittaker could take place in early 2018. If St-Pierre decides to vacate his title, that fight could determine who the new champion of the division would be.
But St-Pierre has yet to commit to departing the division as of right now and is still mulling over his future. As for Rockhold’s comments, St-Pierre isn’t taking any of what he said to heart..
“It’s not a fake diagnosis, I have the paper of the doctor and everything to prove it,” St-Pierre said. “When you’re on top, everybody want to have what you got and it’s not new for me, I’m used to that kind of stuff, I don’t take it personal. I’ve talked to Luke, he’s a good guy. He’s just a hungry guy and he wants to be champion again and I wish him the best.”
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