It's only been a couple of weeks since Georges St-Pierre returned to UFC to win the UFC Middleweight Championship, but the promotion is already talking about setting up his first defense of the title.
St-Pierre returned to the Octagon after four years away in the main event of UFC 217 to defeat Michael Bisping in the third round of their fight with a rear-naked choke technical submission to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion.
Since then, several fighters have put their names forward to be Rush's next opponent, but one name that comes up more than often is the interim UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker. GSP is contractually obligated to unify his title against the interim champion, but it doesn't look like this fight is going to be happening as soon as fans would like.
UFC vice president of international content Dave Shaw recently spoke to MMAjunkie about where they currently are in the process of making the fight. He stated the thing that's currently stopping this fight from being booked is what GSP wants to do next.
Shaw said: “No news yet. I think, as you guys know, the X-factor right now is how Georges is doing. It’s probably going to come down to Georges. Three months for anybody is a quick turnaround, so if we can line up that fight, that’d be amazing. But there’s no real update at this point.”
Shaw and UFC want the fight to take place at February’s UFC 221 in Perth, Australia, as it would be the promotion's debut event in that city, and a fight of this magnitude would hopefully make a strong first impression.
The UFC vice president said: “Listen, bottom line is that we want to have Robbie fight in Perth. The stars are sort of aligning for that event, having a pay-per-view there.
“We want to blow it out of the water and make it a very significant event and make a real impact – not only for Western Australians but for Australian fans all over the country.”
As Shaw stated, it is possible for GSP to be ready for another fight in three months time, but until we hear something from the man himself, it currently doesn't look like he will be defending his title at UFC 221.