A fight with Rockhold, the third ranked middleweight, would certainly be a step down for Whittaker, who was expecting to fight Canadian superstar Georges St Pierre in his next bout. "I don't think so", St-Pierre said in an interview with TSN. UFC president Dana White installed a clause in St-Pierre's contract upon his return, mandating that if he beat Bisping for the title, he must defend it. St-Pierre notably avoided questions about defending the title in the immediate afterglow of winning the title in November. The former 170-pound titleholder defeated then-champ Michael Bisping at Madison Square Garden in New York City, leading most to believe he would stick around in his new division to defend his title. "I've always been against performance enhancing drugs and I did the natural way". I don't think it's a good thing to do, force myself to eat to gain muscle mass. There's no easy way. I did it the hard way and it was to gain weight and to maintain my muscle mass, it was very hard. I think the body has a natural weight that it can perform at its best athletic ability.
It's entirely possible the UFC is moving forward with that potential match-up as a reaction to St-Pierre's news that he may not fight at middleweight again.
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.
Add to that, St-Pierre will be out for an undetermined amount of time to deal with his colitis - a condition that causes abdominal pain, inflammation, and severe diarrhea - before plotting his return to the UFC in 2018.