by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced today on their web site that UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has had to withdraw from his first title defense, which had been scheduled for the February 3rd’s UFC 67. He was to face Ultimate Fighter Season 4 welterweight winner Matt Serra.

According to St. Pierre’s manager, Stephane Patry, “Georges went down to New Mexico to help Keith Jardine, Rashad Evans, and Nate Marquardt to prepare for their fights, returning a favor. [The Greg Jackson-trained fighters had helped St. Pierre prepare for his fight with Matt Hughes.]” Patry continued, “They were doing some wrestling drills and he slipped on some sweat and hurt his knee. He was still going to be able to fight, but it got worse when he came back to train in Montreal.”

St. Pierre, the #1 Welterweight in the MMAWeekly Rankings, went to a specialist and had the knee examined. Patry said that it was determined that St. Pierre sprained both his MCL (medial collateral ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), but was adamant that there was no damage to his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). The MCL and PCL are crucial to stability in the knee joint. Patry confirmed that although “the injury is not career threatening. The doctor recommended Georges take 4 weeks off for the injury to heal” before returning to training, which would give him hardly any time to be prepared for the fight with Serra.

Patry indicated that St. Pierre would be ready to fight as soon as March, but that April was a more likely possibility for a return, as he believed the March UFC fight card was already nearing completion. He was hopeful that April would happen, but that there has not been a determination one way or the other between St. Pierre’s camp and the UFC.

As for the April UFC, Patry did confirm already published reports that the UFC has postponed their Canadian debut. He said that his understanding was that the UFC would likely debut in Canada in the Fall of 2007, but that determination is obviously left to UFC President Dana White and Zuffa.