Dana White announced via Twitter on Wednesday that UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is injured and unable to defend his title at UFC 143 on Feb. 4 in Las Vegas. The injury, a blown ACL, according to White, sets up an interim title fight between current No. 1 contender Nick Diaz and one-time No. 1 contender Carlos Condit.
On Thursday at the UFC 140 pre-fight press conference, White explained the commonplace that injuries, such as St-Pierre’s, have in the world of sports. The UFC boss expressed confidence that his champion’s ACL will not hinder the career of the PPV star, and the comeback will, indeed, happen.
“These knee injuries are very common in athletes, whether you blow your ACL or whatever else it might be,” White said when asked about St-Pierre’s condition. “We’re going to make sure Georges gets the right surgery with the right guy, the right rehabilitation. He’s an athlete that’s taken very good care of himself through his entire career. He’s a guy that’ll put in the work and do the things that need to be done. I’m 100-percent confident that Georges St-Pierre will rebound from this injury and come back.”
Condit was previously scheduled to face St-Pierre on Super Bowl weekend, but was asked to step aside in favor of Diaz when the champion personally asked for it. Following his win over B.J. Penn at UFC 137, Diaz spoke openly about wanting a shot at St-Pierre, calling him out in his post-fight interview. This, apparently, got under the champion’s skin and he asked UFC brass to let him fight Diaz on Feb. 4, instead of facing Condit.
No longer is this the case for GSP, unfortunately. With the champ out for a reported 10 months, Diaz and Condit are set to square off for an interim title. The length of St-Pierre’s time on the injury list will likely require the interim champion to defend their belt once or twice before GSP is ready to go.