Georges St. Pierre Vacates Middleweight Title, Heavyweight Championship Fight Set, UFC Fresno, More

- It's fight week! Above you can watch a preview feature of Saturday's UFC Fresno main event featuring No. 4 featherweight Cub Swanson taking on the sixth-ranked Brian Ortega. Both fighters are riding four fight winning streaks and a win is likely to insert one of them into title contention. In the co-main event, Jason Knight faces Gabriel Benitez in a featherweight bout. In a showdown of top-ten bantamweights, No. 7 Marlon Moraes will meet No. 8 Aljamain Sterling.

- The UFC announced Thursday that middleweight champion Georges St. Pierre has vacated his title, effective immediately. St. Pierre had won the title at UFC 217, defeating Michael Bisping via third-round submission to become just the fourth man in UFC history to win championships in two different divisions. In a statement provided by the UFC, St. Pierre pointed to his recent diagnosis of ulcerative colitis as the reason for giving up his title:

"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. 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."

As a result, interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been elevated to undisputed champion, and the UFC announced that he will defend his title against former middleweight champ Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 221 in Whittaker's home of Australia on Feb. 10.

- Multiple reports say UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will defend his title against Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC 220 on Jan. 20 in Boston. MMAJunkie was the first to report the news. Ngannou is coming off a first-round knockout of Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 this past Saturday. He has won all six of his fights in the UFC with finishes, five of them coming in the first round. Miocic has won five straight fights, all of them by knockout and the last four coming in the first round. He most recently defended his title against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 211 in May. Miocic had previously been embroiled in a contract dispute with the UFC, but after Ngannou's big win on Saturday the company wants to capitalize on the moment and get this fight booked quickly. The UFC has yet to officially announce the fight. The previous main event of UFC 220 was Daniel Cormier defending his light heavyweight championship against Volkan Oezdemir, but that will presumably be bumped to co-main event.


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