The biggest critic of Georges St-Pierre getting a middleweight title shot in his return to fighting at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 was former champion Luke Rockhold.
St-Pierre had never fought at 185-pounds and had been away from the sport for four years. Nonetheless, the former welterweight titleholder defeated Michael Bisping to capture the middleweight crown and it was Rockhold’s worst nightmare come true.
St-Pierre was expected to face interim champion Robert Whittaker in a unification bout, but recently revealed that he’s battling colitis. When he’ll be back inside the Octagon is uncertain.
“That’s been my issue all along. What’s going on? Where is the clarity in the division? I knew when this fight took place with Bisping and GSP that this was the case,” said Rockhold during an appearance on The MMA Hour.
“I did say that if he did win that we’d be in this situation where he wouldn’t fight any of us and then we’d just be more tangled up. The colitis, all these other issues, backtracking on so many levels; it’s clear as day from his coaches and from him, he’s not fighting. He’s not fighting any of us,” added Rockhold.
Prior to the fight, Rockhold predicted that if St-Pierre defeated Bisping that the Canadian wouldn’t defend the belt. He’d like to see “Rush” vacate the title and leave the middleweight division and the UFC promote Whittaker from interim champ to the champion.
“He’s too small. Guys like me will feast on Georges. He won’t last here. He had his opportunity. He got his belt. Good for you. Just move along. Move along and let us handle our business here. I’m ready to fight. I’m ready to fight something that makes sense, and right now nothing makes sense. Obviously, Whittaker is the real champ and we’ll move along. And I’m ready to fight him,” he said.
“I’m a realist. If Georges were to stay it would be laughable. I’d be seeking the fight. I’m not going to see the fight because I know it’s not realistic. Georges won’t fight me. He won’t fight any of us, so do what’s right. Whittaker has been the champ for a long time. He’s been the real champ. Make it official and let’s move on.”
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Rockhold’s not certain that St-Pierre’s colitis is real. Either way, he believes St-Pierre doesn’t want to fight the top middleweights and should just come out and admit it.
“Just come out and say that you don’t want to fight here in the division, you want to relinquish the title and move on. I’m tired of story after story and just dragging us on and leaving us in the dark. State what it is. If you’re sick, you’re sick. But the fact is that you don’t want to fight in the division. He’s done his thing. He’s a legend. Whatever. Just move on. Let us move on,” said Rockhold.
“I did say that if he won that we’d be stuck in this situation where he’s not going to fight any of us, and that’s where we are. Good on him. He won the fight. Congratulations. You’re a two-division champion. Relinquish the belt and move on and retire. Do what you will, but let the real middleweights do their thing.”
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