Robert Whittaker vs Luke Rockhold targeted for UFC 221 at Perth Arena
Luke Rockhold reportedly replaces Georges St-Pierre, battling out for middleweight belt against the interim champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 221. The Pay-Per-View event takes place at Perth Arena on February 11, which marks the debut of Ultimate Fighting Championship in Western Australia.
Numerous media outlets report the news on Thursday, with the reference on Ariel Helwani. MMA journalist posted on Twitter that it is “unclear at this time if Whittaker-Rockhold at UFC 221 would be for the interim or official belt, though. Details being finalized imminently. Talks moving in right direction.”
No formal announcement of the main event has been yet made by the promotion.
The current champion in the middleweight class is Georges St-Pierre, who claimed the belt against England’s Michael Bisping last month. Canadian MMA great has been recently diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis and the future of his fighting career is unclear. In addition, the former welterweight title holder “GSP” has recently told TSN that he doubts about going back to middleweight class.
“We’ll talk about it, but I’m not sure if I compete I will go back at 185,” St-Pierre said. “I don’t think so.”
Robert Whittaker is the first Australian and the first New Zealand-born fighter to earn UFC title, winning the belt against Yoel Romero at UFC 213. He is victorious in his last eight fights.
Luke Rockhold is a former middleweight title holder. He won the belt at UFC 194 against Chris Weidman, but then lost against Bisping at UFC 199 in his next fight. Earlier this week he called Whittaker “the real champ” and said he was “ready to fight him”.
This is another indication that, as a result of GSP’s illness, UFC is moving on with its 185 lbs division. Unclear at this time if Whittaker-Rockhold at UFC 221 would be for the interim or official belt, though. Details being finalized imminently. Talks moving in right direction. https://t.co/kANSxJtZvN
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 6, 2017
The main event bouts and other match ups are expected to be announced in the near future. We will have more information as soon as it becomes available.