Interim titles in combat sports are always a headache. The debate over when to establish an interim champion and when to strip a champion has no answer that pleases everyone. While one of the old stand-by lines of thinking has been that a champion should be stripped if he can't defend for a full year, the UFC has never adhered to that line of thinking.
"We know when Cain’s coming back; we know when Anthony Pettis is coming back," White said following this past Saturday’s UFC on FOX 9, which took place at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena (watch White’s UFC on FOX 9 media scrum). "We do [interim titles] when we don’t know when somebody’s going to come back or what’s going on."
White went on to explain that in the case of Georges St. Pierre, it was GSP's decision to give up the title as he didn't know when -- or if -- he was coming back.