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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019

The shortest title reign in UFC history is over and there's a new undisputed champion

GSP has vacated the middleweight title he won last month.

Mixed Martial Arts 2017: UFC 217 Georges St-Pierre after his middleweight championship victory at UFC 217. Source: Jason Silva

MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION GEORGES St-Pierre, we hardly knew ya!

The UFC confirmed overnight that GSP is no longer the title-holder in its 185-pound division after opting to vacate the belt he won from Michael Bisping last month.

St-Pierre, who vacated the welterweight title to take a hiatus after defeating Johny Hendricks in November 2013, returned from a four-year lay-off to overcome Bisping via third-round submission in Madison Square Garden and win the middleweight strap on 4 November.

However, the 36-year-old admitted earlier this week that he was unlikely to defend the title due to health concerns over the move up in weight class from his usual home at 170 pounds. St-Pierre also revealed that he’s currently suffering from colitis, an inflammation of the colon which causes abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhoea.

“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,” he told the UFC’s official website regarding his decision to bring an end to the shortest title reign in the organisation’s history.

“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.”

UFC Fight Night - Rod Laver Arena Robert Whittaker is now the undisputed UFC middleweight champion. Source: AAP/PA Images

St-Pierre’s decision means that there’s a new undisputed champion in the middleweight division, with 26-year-old Australian Robert Whittaker now promoted to top spot.

Whittaker picked up his eighth consecutive victory in July by getting the better of Yoel Romero in a bout for an interim middleweight title.

He’ll make his first defence of the belt against former champion Luke Rockhold on 10 February at UFC 221 in Perth.

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Paul Dollery

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