FRESNO, Calif. – UFC President Dana White isn’t surprised by Georges St-Pierre’s decision to relinquish the UFC middleweight championship, but he’s not exactly mad, either.
St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) decided this week to give up the 185-pound belt he won from Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) last month at UFC 217. It’s the second time in St-Pierre’s UFC career he’s vacated a belt, along with giving up the welterweight title in November 2013 to take a four-year hiatus from competition.
“Rush” cited uncertainty about his fighting future after a recent diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. He was criticized by some for trying to avoid a matchup with interim middleweight champ Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who he was contractually obligated to meet in a title unifier.
White didn’t exactly refute that notion following Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 post-fight news conference.
“There’s a reason I put that stuff in the contract for him to sign,” White told MMAjunkie. “There’s a reason. Am I shocked? I don’t think anybody’s shocked. He came out, and he hand-picked Bisping and went away again. So, whatever – it is what it is.
“I thought I would be (mad), but I’m not. I expected it. Listen, I had him sign a contract that said he would defend against Whittaker for a reason. Because I knew he wouldn’t.”
White said he has no idea what the future holds for St-Pierre, who believes his weight-gain and diet program led to his health issues, which is why a return to middleweight seems unlikely.
St-Pierre fighting at his natural weight of 170 seems like the most obvious situation should he compete again. White said he’s not convinced that happens, either, because he simply doesn’t feel there are any fights St-Pierre finds appealing.
“He doesn’t want to fight anybody at welterweight,” White said. “That’s why he fought Bisping. He didn’t want to fight (Tyron) Woodley. He didn’t want to fight (Stephen) ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. He didn’t want to fight any of those guys. He only wanted to fight Michael Bisping. He did, and now he’s off again. I’m not shocked; I’m not mad. It is what it is.”view original article >>
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