The UFC's middleweight division is in a bit of a flux right now, but it seems like the promotion has an answer to that issue.
For most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, the last legitimate 185-pound title defense came when Luke Rockhold lost his title to Michael Bisping in the summer of last year. Bisping proceeded to defend his title against longtime rival, and then No. 14-ranked middleweight, Dan Henderson.
After that defense, Bisping then welcomed former welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre back to the UFC with a title defense against "Rush." St-Pierre had been away from the sport for four years and had never competed at 185 pounds before.
The Canadian wound up winning the fight after hitting Bisping with a hellacious hook that dropped the Englishman, before subsequently locking in a rear-naked choke that would render Bisping unconscious.
Now St-Pierre is the champion at middleweight, with a young and dynamic striker in Robert Whittaker waiting in the shadows to unify his interim title with the Canadian when the opportunity presents itself.
Recently St-Pierre announced that he is dealing with an illness and will be out indefinitely. This means that Whittaker will likely have to defend his interim title before unifying with St-Pierre.
According to a report from MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani, the UFC already apparently is beginning to lay out the groundwork for exactly that. Helwani reports that the UFC is working on booking an interim title defense for Whittaker against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia:
This would be a great bout between two of the middleweight division's most skilled fighters. Either man would be a great option to take on "GSP" in a unification bout, as they both represent the new breed of fighters to grace the Octagon this generation.
The question remains if St-Pierre will ever compete at 185 pounds again, as many believe that he only took the Bisping fight because he considered it to be an easy match-up. It should be interesting to see how GSP's new career with the UFC progresses.
What are your thoughts on the UFC planning a match-up between Robert Whittaker and Luke Rockhold? Do you think that this is the right step for the UFC's 185-pound division? And who do you think would emerge victorious in the potential match-up? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!
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