One of the hottest topics in the UFC is newly-crowned middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre’s next fight following his title-sealing submission win over Michael Bisping in the main event of last weekend’s (Sat., Nov. 4, 2017) UFC 217 from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Dana White insists he’s going to unify the 185-pound belts with interim champion Robert Whittaker next, while the specter of a massive super fight with Conor McGregor looms large. But speaking during a media call in New York (via MMA Junkie) today, St-Pierre revealed that whatever his next move may be, he’s going to require some time to heal from a neck injury he suffered while battling Bisping.
Despite the injury, however, he said he plans to defend his new title:
“There’s going to be news about it in the next few weeks, but I don’t plan to hold the title and not defend it.
“It looked very insignificant when it happened,” St-Pierre said. “It wasn’t the strength of the hit. It was more the precision of it. It’s not his fault. We’re not allowed to hit there, but it was just in the heat of the fight, and it’s normal.
“My neck was so inflamed, when I was on the floor, I had a hard time posturing up because it was hurting very bad. It felt like I couldn’t contract my head to posture up. After the fight when I cooled down, it was terrible. It was like my neck couldn’t move. Now it’s still sore, but it got a lot better. I got treatment on it, so I’ll be back 100 percent.”
So while it sounds like a serious injury, St-Pierre insists he’ll be back to full strength soon. His next bout still remains a mystery, but he said fighting Whittaker is in his contract, so his agent will soon meet with White and the UFC after he goes on vacation to clear his head:
(UFC President) Dana White is going to talk with my agent, they’re going to figure it out, and we’ll see after I come back from vacation.
“We’ll see what I want to do and where my head is,” he said. “I have no intention of holding onto the belt and freezing the division. That’s not what I want to do. Robert Whittaker is in my contract. If I want to fight again, it has to be against Robert Whittaker at 185 (pounds). That’s in my contract. I cannot, for example, go fight (welterweight champ) Tyron Woodley or go fight another guy.”
St-Pierre remained coy when asked if UFC 217 may have been his last fight, noting that it was the same question framed differently and that he hadn’t even made his own mind up yet:
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s the same question from a different angle. That’s why I can’t talk about this – I don’t know right now.
“I understand it’s normal, but I don’t even know for myself what’s going to be the next move.”