Just a little over a month removed from winning the UFC middleweight championship, Georges St-Pierre is already having doubts that he’ll end up defending the belt.
St-Pierre returned from a four-year hiatus at UFC 217 in early November, moving up to 185 pounds for the first time in his career in an attempt to become a two-division champion. The former 170-pound titleholder defeated then-champ Michael Bisping at Madison Square Garden in New York City, leading most to believe he would stick around in his new division to defend his title.
Not so fast, St-Pierre says.
St-Pierre’s latest claims come just a few weeks after he reaffirmed the idea that he would, in fact, be facing interim champion Robert Whittaker in his first defense as middleweight king. The Canadian superstar maintained his contract required him to defend the championship if he won, leaving him little wiggle room to avoid a second fight at 185 pounds.
Last week, the champion revealed he has been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. An undersized middleweight to begin with, it’s possible the disease makes it more difficult to maintain the mass he needs to be competitive against larger foes.
“Of course, in terms of weight, if I want to go back to compete at 185, I will – obviously eating, like I did what I did, I learned from my mistakes, I don’t think it’s a good thing to do, force myself to eat to gain muscle mass,” St-Pierre said. “I’ve always been against performance-enhancing drugs, and I did it the natural way. There is no easy way. I did it the hard way and it was to gain weight and to maintain my muscles mass and it was very hard and it was not healthy. I think the body has a natural weight it can perform at its best athletic ability and for me, the weight that I am now is my perfect weight.”
MMA Fighting reported earlier Wednesday that the UFC was moving toward a middleweight showdown between interim champion Whittaker and former champion Luke Rockhold in February. It’s unclear if St-Pierre will be stripped of the title by then, making a potential Whittaker-Rockhold matchup for the undisputed title.