Georges St-Pierre will not be making another appearance in the Octagon any time soon. UFC president Dana White told the media late Friday that the middleweight champion is dealing with colitis. It’s unclear which specific variation of the disease St-Pierre is dealing with, with treatments ranging from symptom suppression to surgery depending on the severity, but White states that the Canadian superstar will be sidelined indefinitely.
St-Pierre returned to the Octagon for the first time in four years at UFC 217 in early November, making his 185-pound debut after a historic run as 170-pound champion. St-Pierre faced middleweight champion Michael Bisping, defeating the titleholder via third-round submission to extend his winning streak to 13 dating back to 2007.
Sidelined indefinitely, however, it’s unclear what the future holds for his status as middleweight champion; not with an interim titleholder waiting in the wings for a unification bout.
That’s bad news for a number of different parties, though arguably none more than interim champion Robert Whittaker.
Winning the interim championship at UFC 213 in July, Whittaker was set to take on the middleweight champion upon Bisping’s return from injury. That title shot, however, went to St-Pierre, who jumped the line to challenge the middleweight kingpin in his return. St-Pierre defeated Bisping, paving the way for the biggest blockbuster bout of Whittaker’s fighting career.
But with St-Pierre now out indefinitely and the UFC hosting a pay-per-view event in Perth, Australia, in February, it’s entirely plausible that the Aussie champion will be tasked with fighting somebody not named St-Pierre on that card. Whether Whittaker would be defending his interim championship or the undisputed championship (assuming St-Pierre is stripped of his title given the circumstances) remains to be seen in that hypothetical scenario.