The UFC Middleweight Title is going to be defended at next years UFC 221 card as champion Robert Whittaker will defend the gold against Luke Rockhold.
MMA Fighting first reported the fight.
Georges St. Pierre, who just won the belt at UFC 217, has announced that he has vacated the title due to health concerns. Which means that Whittaker is no longer the UFC Interim Middleweight Champion, but the undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion.
Whittaker (19-4-0) is making the first defense of his title, but the fighter did win the UFC Interim Middleweight Title with a decision win over Yoel Romero at UFC 213. Whittaker would also be entering the fight on an eight bout winning streak and he hasn’t suffered a defeat in almost four years. Whittaker has previously headlined two UFC events and he has also never lost a main event bout yet in the promotion.
Rockhold (16-3-0) is a former UFC Middleweight Champion, defeating Chris Weidman by fourth round TKO at UFC 194 to become champ. Rockhold would lose the gold in his first title defense, which came against Michael Bisping at UFC 199. Rockhold was also the final Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, defeating Ronaldo Souza by decision to win the belt in 2011.
UFC 221 takes place on Saturday, February 10 from the Perth Arena in Perth, Australia with Robert Whittaker and Luke Rockhold headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.