Why Georges St-Pierre Vacated UFC Middleweight Title He Just Won

Georges St-Pierre just became the first fighter in UFC history to vacate two championship belts.

St-Pierre, who vacated the welterweight title in 2013, on Thursday vacated the middleweight title he won from Michael Bisping just last month at UFC 217, ending the shortest title reign in the promotion’s history.

“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 explained, according to a statement provided by 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.”

St-Pierre’s victory over Bisping at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 marked GSP’s first fight since Nov. 16, 2013, when he successfully defended the welterweight championship against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 before stepping away from the sport.

Interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been elevated to undisputed champion following Thursday’s news, and he’ll defend his title Feb. 10 against former champion Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 221 in Australia.

Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images

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