News, unfortunately, arrived today that recently-crowned UFC middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre was going to be on the sidelines for an indefinite period of time due to a battle with colitis after winning the belt from Michael Bisping at November’s UFC 217.
The debate was already rife with uncertainty as to whether or not St-Pierre would unify the titles with deserving interim champion Robert Whittaker, who is recovering from an injury himself and issued a statement of encouragement to St-Pierre.
The champion then issued a statement of his own to his official Facebook page, where he detailed his symptoms and how is he is combating them before declaring his health was obviously his number one priority:
“I now understand the health issues that I had during my last training camp… I hoped my condition would improve after the fight but unfortunately it got worse and I had to go straight to the hospital for a colonoscopy when I came back from vacation last Wednesday. The diagnosis is ulcerative colitis and I am now taking medication that will hopefully appease the symptoms. My health is my #1 priority right now, I’m still a very happy man, thanks for your support!!!”
The news has also unfortunately fueled the flames of those who believed St-Pierre did not intend to defend the middleweight title in the first place because even if he wanted to, he could not for an indefinite period of time regardless.
It’s unknown when Whittaker plans to return to action after sustaining an apparently serious knee injury while winning the interim title versus Yoel Romero this July, but reports have ‘The Reaper’ looking to return at March’s pay-per-view (PPV) card from Perth, Australia.
Now, he may be looking for a new opponent even if St-Pierre was never truly a realistic possibility in the first place.