Newly crowned UFC middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre has confirmed that he was recently diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, which is likely to keep him out of the Octagon for an indefinite period of time.
“I now understand the health issues that I had during my last training camp,” St-Pierre wrote on Twitter. “I hoped my condition would improve after the fight but unfortunately it got worse and I had to go straight to the hospital for a colonoscopy when I came back from vacation last Wednesday. The diagnosis is ulcerative colitis and I am now taking medication that will hopefully appease the symptoms.
“My health is my #1 priority right now, I’m still a very happy man, thanks for your support!!!”
Ulcerative Colitis is a long-term condition that results in inflammation and ulcers of the colon and causes abdominal pain and diarrhea mixed with blood.
The symptoms can occur interimittently, leaving spells where there are no symptoms present.
One of St-Pierre’s coaches, John danaher, had previously revealed after the superstar’s title victory over Michael Bisping last month some of the health issues he had been facing during his fight camp.
“Two weeks into camp he developed severe stomach pains and vomiting,” Danaher wrote on Facebook. “Initially it was suspected that he had an illness, but all tests came back negative. The situation deteriorated to the point that for two weeks of a six week camp there was no training at all. At a critical point we gave him a two day window to either get back in the gym or call off the fight. The first grappling workout he had he vomited heavily prior to workout and then went to work. The next day he had the worst standing sparring session I have ever seen him have.”
St-Pierre recovered enough to fight, but according to Danaher he was unable to retain much of the weight he had been trying to put on for his first fight at middleweight and was essentially, “a mid-sized welterweight,” in the Octagon at UFC 217.
Given that Ulcerative Colitis is an ongoing condition that is unlikely to be cured it’s hard to say if or when GSP might be fit to continue fighting again, leaving the division in limbo for the time being and the UFC without one of their biggest stars.