UFC: NZ-born Robert Whittaker crowned UFC middleweight champ

UFC: NZ-born Robert Whittaker crowned UFC middleweight champ

UFC: NZ-born Robert Whittaker crowned UFC middleweight champ

"Of course in terms of weight, if I want to go back to compete at 185, obviously eating like I did what I did, I learned from my mistakes".

The 36-year-old from Montreal won the 185-pound crown November 4 when he dethroned Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in NY.

St Pierre, the former welterweight king, returned to the sport last month with a stunning win over former middleweight champ Michael Bisping in NY.

Prior to the event, UFC President Dana White insisted that St-Pierre would defend his title if he defeated Bisping and, after the 36-year-old did exactly that at UFC 217, White stated that he would be "super pissed" if the fighter reneged on his contractual agreement.

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St-Pierre was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis after the bout and is now undergoing treatment for the disease, but because of the diagnosis, he will be unable to compete for the foreseeable future. "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".

He said as recently as this week he was unsure if he would defend the belt at all. I don't think it's a good thing to do, to force myself to eat to gain muscle mass. "For me, the weight that I am now is my flawless weight". I think the body has a natural weight it can perform at its best athletic ability.

The undisputed UFC middleweight championship will be on the line in Australia on February 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.

Fighting out of Sydney, Whittaker was hopeful he'd have a chance to unify the title against St-Pierre.

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