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Georges St-Pierre vacates UFC middleweight title: ‘I don’t want to hold up the division’

Georges St-Pierre is no longer the UFC middleweight champion.

MMA: UFC 217-Bisping vs St-Pierre Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Georges St-Pierre’s reign as UFC middleweight champion is officially finished after just a shade over one month.

In a statement released on Thursday night, St-Pierre confirmed that he’s relinquished his title, citing health reasons.

“My fight at UFC 217 was one of the greatest nights of my life but I now need to take some time to focus on my health.” St-Pierre said. “Out of respect to the athletes and the sport, I don’t want to hold up the division. I will be giving up my belt and once I’m healthy I look forward to working with the UFC to determine what’s next in my career.”

St-Pierre defeated Michael Bisping in the UFC 217 main event to become the 185-pound champion in his first fight at the weight class. This news comes a day after GSP indicated that he wasn’t sure he’d compete at middleweight again. St-Pierre also recently announced that he was dealing with ulcerative colitis, something that Dana White had said would keep the Canadian sidelined indefinitely. This is the second time in as many fights that GSP has vacated a title, having stepped away from the sport in 2013 after a controversial split decision over Johny Hendricks in a welterweight championship clash.

The UFC confirmed that Robert Whittaker vs. Luke Rockhold, scheduled to headline UFC 221 on February 10th in Perth, Australia, is for the actual middleweight title, with interim champ Whittaker now billed as the undisputed champion.