Is it too Late for Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre
Last night on Fuel TV Dana White told MMA fans something that may or may not be music to their ears. The long proposed super fight between the longest reigning UFC champions is pretty close to becoming a reality.
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva have been ruling their divisions since 2008 and 2006 respectively. St. Pierre has won his past nine bouts which includes six straight title defenses. Silva has defeated 16 straight men and defended his title a total of 10 consecutive times, a UFC record.
The rumors of a mega bout between the two began to surface sometime around the end of 2009/early 2010. In fact UFC President Dana White has stated that if Silva had not made a mockery of himself and the organization during his title defense against Demain Maia at UFC 112 in April of 2010 the fight may have taken place that year.
The biggest question is what weight the two would compete at. Silva has been at middleweight his entire UFC career with the exception of two bouts at light heavyweight and GSP has fought at 170 his entire 10 year career. Would Silva drop down to welterweight where he has not fought at since 2006? Or would GSP make the jump to 185 and go for Silva’s middleweight title?
St. Pierre has gone on record saying that if he were to fight at 185 he would remain there because he would need to add muscle mass in order to compete with the larger fighters. Mass that would not come off very easily. White said last night that if the fight happens the two would more than likely fight at 180lbs and the bout would take place at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
A fight of that magnitude needs a venue that size because it’s pretty evident that this event would shatter attendance records. UFC 129 remains the largest UFC event in North American history with a reported attendance of 55,000 rabid fans rooting on their countrymen St. Pierre as he defended his title against Jake Shields. That would be the last time we would see St. Pierre in the Octagon as he injured his knee preparing for a bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 137. He re-injured the knee and has not been seen since.
That is the first question I have. Will St. Pierre be the same fighter when he does return this November at UFC 154 to finally face Condit? After more than 18 months on the shelf and a serious knee operation what can we expect from one of the more popular UFC fighters of all time? Will he have the same quickness, will he be able to shoot like he used to? That remains to be seen, getting by Condit healthy and without ring rust is hard enough, and GSP has to do it after being sidelined for 19 months.
That brings me to “The Spider,” who is coming off a spectacular second round knockout over Chael Sonnen at UFC 148. After surviving a rough first round, Silva took advantage of a missed spinning back fist that Sonnen inexplicably threw and finished his arch rival in highlight reel fashion. The question I have for Silva is simple; at 37-years-old (38 by the time this fight takes place) will he offer the same level of competition to GSP that he would have three years ago?
We all know Silva hasn’t slowed down much against guys like Yushin Okami and Vitor Belfort, but in the first fight against Sonnen, Silva looked human for the first time and the first round of their rematch was a mirror image of the first four and half rounds of their first encounter. GSP will look to take Silva down and keep him there just like Sonnen did, but don’t expect St. Pierre to get caught in a fight saving submission, he has far better BJJ than Sonnen.
I want to see the fight, but there are other questions that need to be answered. What becomes of the winner of the Johny Hendricks-Martin Kampmann fight scheduled for UFC 154? That bout is to determine the next challenger to the welterweight crown. Chris Weidman is making a lot of noise and with another win will be next in line for a title shot. I believe Weidman will face the winner of the Brian Stann-Michael Bisping match-up at UFC 152 with the winner becoming the number one contender. Are they forced to the sidelines for an extended period of time, quite possibly a year?
Silva-St. Pierre should’ve happened a few years ago when they were both completely healthy and a few years younger. It should’ve happened when the middleweight and welterweight ranks were a lot thinner than they are now. I do want to see this fight, but I don’t want to see either man at anything less than 100%. I do not want to see other fighters forced to the sidelines and two titles held up for a year or so. I am a fan first and foremost, but I am also a realist. Time will tell if this actually goes down and what the consequences are if it does.