Article

Whittaker vs Rockhold set for UFC 221 main event

The undisputed UFC middleweight championship will be on the line in Australia on Feb. 10 (Feb. 11 local time), when Robert Whittaker defends his crown for the first time against former titleholder Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 221.

UFC announced on Thursday that middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre is vacating his world title effective immediately.

St-Pierre informed the organization, “My fight at UFC 217 was one of the greatest nights of my life but I now need to take some time to focus on my health. Out of respect to the athletes and the sport, I don’t want to hold up the division. I will be giving up my belt and once I’m healthy I look forward to working with the UFC to determine what’s next in my career.”

With this announcement, interim champion Whitaker has been elevated to undisputed champion, and subject to approval from the Combat Sports Commission in Western Australia, the five-round bout will be the first event in Western Australia and held at Perth Arena.

Sydney's Whittaker first arrived on the UFC scene when he won The Ultimate Fighter Smashes at welterweight in 2012. Whittaker went on to win three Octagon bouts at 170 pounds before making the move to middleweight in 2014, and he has been unstoppable since, winning seven fights in a row, with four knockouts and six post-fight bonuses. In July, he parlayed his wins over Derek Brunson and "Jacare" Souza into a fight with Yoel Romero for the interim middleweight title and he won the gold with a unanimous decision victory. Now he will make his first walk as champion at home against Rockhold.

One of the premier middleweights of this era, 33-year-old Luke Rockhold has held both the UFC and Strikeforce titles at 185 pounds, where he has defeated the best his division has to offer, including Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping, "Jacare" Souza, Tim Kennedy and Lyoto Machida. Fresh from a September stoppage of David Branch, the dynamic Californian looks to regain his crown when he travels Down Under to face Whittaker.

Tickets for UFC 221, which airs live on Pay-Per-View, go on sale on December 15.  

Stay tuned to UFC.com for more fight card announcements.
Saturday, October 27
10PM/7PM
ETPT
Moncton, New Brunswick

Media

Recent
Anthony Smith discusses his exciting fighting style, and why he's driven to always finish his fights. His next test comes Saturday, October 27 at Fight Night Moncton where he'll take on Volkan Oezdemir in the main event.
Oct 22, 2018
Daniel Cormier breaks down the main event of Saturday's Fight Night Moncton event, featuring the light heavyweight tilt between Volkan Oezdemir and Anthony Smith.
Oct 22, 2018
Anthony Smith takes on Volkan Oezdemir in the main event of Fight Night Moncton on October 27, live on FS1.
Oct 19, 2018
Double champ Daniel Cormier met with members of the media at the UFC Performance Institute ahead of his heavyweight title defense against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in New York City on November 3, 2018.
Oct 19, 2018