UFC 221 Perth main event in the making: Whittaker vs Rockhold

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Bisping lost his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre on November 4 via submission. "I don't think so", St-Pierre said.

Recently MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani reported that the UFC was looking at Whittaker - Rockhold for the Perth, Australia card, and now the outlet's reporting the bout is nearly finalized.

Many assumed that the only reason GSP made a decision to compete in a higher weight class was because he saw a vulnerable champion that he could beat. Whittaker was entirely expected to take on the then champion, Bisping after winning the title but the injury was too severe to jump back in at the time the UFC wanted and they chose not to wait for the newly crowned Interim champion.

As a result, interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been elevated to the division's official titleholder and will face Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 221 on February 10 in Perth, Australia.

"Rush", who made his successful return to the Octagon with a third-round submission over Bisping to capture the middleweight title, has stated publicly that moving up to 185 pounds was very hard on his overall and dietary health.

MMA Fighting first reported the fight.

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Rockhold wouldn't completely discount that St-Pierre was dealing with an illness, but believes that it only aides the champion's plan to depart the division and head back to 170.

St-Pierre's latest claims come just a few weeks after he reaffirmed the idea that he would, in fact, be facing interim champion Robert Whittaker in his first defense as middleweight king.

As a result, there are reports that a possible showdown between Rockhold and Whittaker could take place in early 2018.

But St-Pierre has yet to commit to departing the division as of right now and is still mulling over his future.

Last week, the champion revealed he has been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. "He's just a hungry guy and he wants to be champion again and I wish him the best".