Georges St. Pierre made history when he returned after a four-plus year absence to defeat Michael Bisping and win the UFC Middleweight Title at UFC 217.
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold believes that GSP will now find a way to avoid a fight with UFC Interim Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker.
“Unfortunately it sounds like we have a hold up and it’s gonna take some time to iron out what’s next. . . I know [St-Pierre] is contractually obligated to defend his belt but as we all heard on the mic, he’s backtracking and he’s trying to find his way out, seemingly. I think it’s ridiculous if they were to let him hold onto it and not pull that. Let him relinquish that and go down to fight Tyron like it sounds like he wants to do. I think they should just get back to what made this company what it is. You go too far down the wrong trail and there’s no turning back. You go too far into Conor McGregor land and you get that fight going and the whole thing is a mess. They need to just put the best against the best in each division and stop jumping around,” Rockhold said on Submission Radio.
GSP has yet to officially state what his next move is going to be, but UFC President Dana White said his next bout will come against Whittaker.
Rockhold also states that he has approached the UFC about fighting Whittaker this February at UFC 221.
“I’m ready to go and I know Whittaker is ready to go. Obviously, he sees GSP and he wants his payday but is he gonna get that? How long is he gonna drag his feet for? I’m ready to move forward with the division and get things going. I’ve talked about [fighting Whittaker at UFC Perth] with the UFC and it is potentially on the table but I’m not going out there to fight for the interim title. GSP needs to figure it out. He needs to move on, get out, and really, Robert Whittaker is the real champion. Bisping lost that title, in my eyes, a long time ago when he decided to fight guys outside the top ten, and welterweights for that matter. He earned it. He got the title but Whittaker’s been the man for the last year. He’s fought Jacare, he’s fought Yoel, he’s fought the top contenders and that’s what it takes to be the champion. In my eyes, Whittaker’s the champ. So I’ll be ready to go to Perth, it’s just a matter of how this whole thing plays out. I know Whittaker obviously wants that fight [with St-Pierre], as he should, but I don’t think he’s gonna get it. I’m more than willing to move on and take him on in Perth. I love Australia and the kids a stud and I’d be honored to fight him,” says Rockhold.
Whittaker hasn’t competed since winning the interim title at UFC 213 and he stated in the past that he is willing to wait to see what GSP wants to do.