Dana White told fans at a Q & A last week that Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva is a very real possibility for 2011. If both fighters win their next fights, GSP will permanently move up to 185 reversing original plans for the UFC Super Fight.
Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre has been talked about for the last two years but talking was where it stopped. The closest the fight ever came was last April at UFC 112 when GSP came down to ringside to do commentary during the Silva vs. Demian Maia charade. Reports were that GSP’s appearance was to result in the announcement of the UFC Super Fight. Instead, Dana White was enraged with Silva’s performance and called the fight off.
[adinserter block=”2″]”The fight doesn’t really make all that much sense to me,” White stated. “Because Georges St. Pierre is a true 170 pounder. Anderson Silva at 185 has moved up to 205 and done very well at that weight. I see him moving up, not moving down. … I do like Anderson Silva at 205 pounds. That’s a natural weight for him.” – 5thRound.com.
As you can see when talk of the fight started right before UFC 112 it was Anderson Silva and not Georges St. Pierre who would change weight classes. Silva stated in several interviews that he would consider dropping to 170 for the competition of fighting Georges St. Pierre. He told Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports, “I’d like to test myself and I always love to take on new challenges,” Silva said of his thoughts about a drop to 170 pounds from the middleweight limit of 185. “It’s not that I want to go fight Georges St. Pierre for his title. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the reigning champion, the absolute champion, in that weight category. But I just want to test myself and see how I’d do at that weight.”
Plans have changed according to the boss. “Georges St-Pierre would move to 185 and stay at that weight and not go back to 170,” Dana White said at a Fan Q & A over the weekend.
There are a lot of interesting tidbits here other than the fight. For one, it is a very risky move for GSP to move up in weight permanently and fight competition that will walk around much heavier than him. Great athletes have done this before in combat sports but many have struggled or failed. The idea that GSP is going to suddenly put on 15 pounds of natural muscle and be just as quick and just as strong is an idea that sounds a lot better on paper. Hey, it can be done and it has been done but just keep in mind that you may not get the Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre fight at 185 that most fans expect. It could be a one sided demolition by the champion.
It is also interesting that Dana White pegged 2011 for the Super Fight. For one thing, Georges St. Pierre has said over the last year that he only wants to fight twice a year. His next fight would be his second in 2011. Two, at 29 years of age it could take months for GSP to put on 15 pounds of natural muscle and adjust to fighting with the new weight. Even if he begins training in July, that would only give him five months to put the weight on, adjust to it, and train for Anderson Silva. 2011 may be pushing it for this one with all of the special circumstances involved.
In the end I am stoked at the idea. Let’s face it, both guys have cleaned out their divisions and have no appealing matchups on the horizon. Sonnen vs. Silva 2 would be fun but the last few months of Sonnen’s failed PED and guilty plea have just taken the air out of his balloon. GSP is either looking at a rematch with Jon Fitch or BJ Penn, two guys he dominated in his last two fights. GSP moving up win or lose against Anderson Silva opens up a lot of fun fights at middleweight.
“If they both win their fights, that fight makes all the sense in the world,” the UFC president said.
[adinserter block=”1″]It should be noted that this fight is hardly a given. Anderson Silva must beat Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 and GSP must beat Jake Shields at UFC 129. It sounds easy and let’s be honest, on paper Silva and GSP should roll easily over their opponents. However this isn’t the WWE where matches are scripted to build to WrestleMania. More often than not one of the fighters stumble in these “gimme” situations and plans are postponed or sometimes scrapped permanently. As fun as it is to start talking about Silva vs. GSP, we aren’t even halfway there although in two weeks we will be much closer.
I won’t speculate too much on the fight because there are a lot of variables involved before we even get to that point. I will say that Silva vs. St. Pierre is probably the biggest fight that the UFC could make right now. I can’t think of another possible fight in the UFC that would be as big as the battle of arguably the two most dominant champions of all time in their primes. I don’t think it would get the Fedor vs. Brock numbers that the heavyweight clash would have brought in 2009 but it will be close. The fight is a blockbuster and one that could help take the UFC to another level.
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