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White ‘knew’ St-Pierre wouldn’t defend title: GSP hand-picked Bisping and went away again

Dana White says he isn’t surprised that Georges St-Pierre vacated the UFC middleweight belt.

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Georges St-Pierre was recently diagnosed with colitis, which is likely an effect from him spending months forcing himself to eat a lot and gain enough weight to be competitive at middleweight. The two-division champion says that due to this health issue, he is unlikely to compete at 185 lbs anytime soon, so he decided to just vacate the belt.

Dana White spoke about GSP’s decision, saying he didn’t really expect the unification with Robert Whittaker to happen — even if it was on the contract.

“I thought I would be (pissed), but I’m not. I expected it,” White told the media following UFC Fresno. “Listen, I had him sign a contract that said he would defend against Whittaker for a reason. Because I knew he wouldn’t.

“At the end of the day, there’s a reason I put that stuff in the contract for him to sign,” he said. “Am I shocked? I don’t think anybody’s shocked. He came out, and he hand-picked Bisping and went away again. So, whatever. It is what it is.

“He doesn’t want to fight anybody at welterweight,” White said. “That’s why he fought Bisping. He didn’t want to fight Woodley. He didn’t want to fight ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. He didn’t want to fight any of those guys. He only wanted to fight Michael Bisping. He did, and now he’s off again.”

After four-years away from MMA, GSP went up to middleweight to defeat the champion and hold two titles in as many divisions. Prior to his hiatus, he spent years consistently defending the welterweight title. He took on all comers, created a lucrative market for the UFC, all while staying out of trouble and being an excellent ambassador of the sport. No one has really done that in the company’s history, and St-Pierre has truly established himself as an all-time great in mixed martial arts.

There’s a few people who are criticizing him for not defending the belt, but in reality, GSP doesn’t really owe us — or the UFC — anything.

Would it be better if St-Pierre was clear about what he wants to do next? Sure, but he’s earned the right to decide those things on his own. I personally just can’t take it against him for now prioritizing his own health and career, while also not holding up a division in the process.