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Newly crowned middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre today revealed a neck injury he suffered during his title-winning fight against Michael Bisping, but he said he still plans to fight interim titleholder Robert Whittaker.

“There’s going to be news about it in the next few weeks, but I don’t plan to hold the title and not defend it,” St-Pierre told reporters today during a media call five days after his win at UFC 217 in New York.

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), who submitted Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) via rear-naked choke in the third round of the pay-per-view headliner at Madison Square Garden, said the injury occurred in the first round of the fight when the Brit threw an elbow from the bottom that contacted that back of his head.

“It looked very insignificant when it happened,” St-Pierre said. “It wasn’t the strength of the hit. It was more the precision of it. It’s not his fault. We’re not allowed to hit there, but it was just in the heat of the fight, and it’s normal.

“My neck was so inflamed, when I was on the floor, I had a hard time posturing up because it was hurting very bad. It felt like I couldn’t contract my head to posture up. After the fight when I cooled down, it was terrible. It was like my neck couldn’t move. Now it’s still sore, but it got a lot better. I got treatment on it, so I’ll be back 100 percent.”

First on the new champ’s itinerary, however, is a vacation to “forget about fighting.” He plans to talk with UFC officials about their plans for unifying the middleweight title against Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who welcomed a meeting with St-Pierre in February at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.

But St-Pierre resisted repeated questions to tie him down to a timeline.

“(UFC President) Dana White is going to talk with my agent, they’re going to figure it out, and we’ll see after I come back from vacation,” he told MMAjunkie when asked if he would be interested in unifying the title at UFC 221, or would prefer to fight elsewhere.

Whatever he decides, St-Pierre said he’ll make up his mind soon.

“We’ll see what I want to do and where my head is,” he said. “I have no intention of holding onto the belt and freezing the division. That’s not what I want to do. Robert Whittaker is in my contract. If I want to fight again, it has to be against Robert Whittaker at 185 (pounds). That’s in my contract. I cannot, for example, go fight (welterweight champ) Tyron Woodley or go fight another guy.”

St-Pierre said he didn’t know if he’d return to the welterweight division following a fight with Whittaker.

Asked if he might simply retire instead of returning to middleweight, the new champ giggled.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s the same question from a different angle. That’s why I can’t talk about this – I don’t know right now

“I understand it’s normal, but I don’t even know for myself what’s going to be the next move.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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