UFC president Dana White said he wasn’t surprised by Georges St-Pierre decision to vacate the Middleweight title.
St-Pierre relinquished the title on Thursday night, just 33 days after beating Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC 217, citing a bout of colitis and saying that he didn’t want to hold up the progression of the division.
Despite reports to the contrary, White said he wasn’t that upset about the Canadian’s decision.
“I thought I would be (super pissed), but I’m not. I expected it,” White said. “Listen, I had him sign a contract that said he would defend against Whittaker for a reason — because I knew he wouldn’t,” he said.
“At the end of the day, there’s a reason I put that stuff in the contract for him to sign,” White added.
“There’s a reason. And am I shocked? I don’t think anybody is shocked. He came out, he hand-picked Bisping and then 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 (Tyron) Woodley, he didn’t want to fight (Stephen) ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. He didn’t want to fight any of those guys. He wanted to fight Michael Bisping, and he did, and now he’s off again. So, listen, I’m not shocked, I’m not mad. It is what it is.”
St-Pierre’s decision meant that interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has now been crowned division top dog.
The new champion will now defend his belt against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 on February 11 in Perth, Australia.