The Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre super fight is far from dead. According to one reporter, Silva is so determined to fight GSP that he is willing to shake up two divisions and a championship in order to get the fight he wants.
It doesn’t end there. Meltzer also spoke about Lyoto Machida’s weight for his UFC on Fox 4 fight against Ryan Bader. Unlike most fighters who cut and bulk back up by fight time, Machida did no cutting for his fight. Meltzer reported that the word going around the UFC is that Machida may move down to middleweight at 185 if Silva leaves the division. Meltzer also said that the lack of cut was a message sent by Machida to Zuffa that he could get down to 185 if need be. Machida and Silva are close friends but with Silva out of the division, the plate would be cleared for Machida to compete for the division’s championship.
This is a huge story! Anderson Silva and his camp have been practically begging Georges St-Pierre for a fight over the last couple of weeks. GSP has made it clear that he has very little interest in moving to 185 or even a catchweight at 180 for the super fight. By Silva moving down to 170, GSP would have no excuse to turn down the fight and give the UFC its biggest MMA fight of our lifetime.
By Silva moving to welterweight, the UFC welterweight division immediately becomes the most stacked division in MMA. If Silva were to stay in the division, you would have a division with both GSP and Silva regularly competing, in addition to Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald, BJ Penn, and Carlos Condit. The UFC could get a good two years worth of blockbuster main-events with this one simple move. I can’t imagine anyone in the Zuffa offices not liking those possibilities.
The middleweight division would be up for grabs. Silva has ran through and dominated the division since he joined the UFC. I can’t imagine Lyoto Machida having that kind of a run, although I think he’d be a favorite to take the title. I would also guess that with Silva leaving, Chael Sonnen would likely stay in the division. Most expect Sonnen to make the move to 205, although he becomes an immediate favorite to fight Machida for the title if he stays around as opposed to working his way up another division.
Then there is also the issue of Nick Diaz vs. GSP. GSP badly wants to fight Nick Diaz. Diaz is suspended until February, while GSP is scheduled to return in November. Convincing GSP to fight Silva as opposed to Diaz is going to be a tough task for the UFC. Money talks and it will be the biggest box office in UFC history, but there is something real personal about GSP’s dislike that the UFC will have to consider. Big money or not, GSP’s desire to shut Nick Diaz up has turned into an obsession.
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