GSP vs. Anderson Silva now a Fantasy Fight

Dana White singing a different song about GSP vs. SilvaThe Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre Super Fight has taken on a life of its own. One week it’s on, next week it’s off, GSP is moving up, he’s not, etc. Two months ago this fight was one win away from happening. Today, in the words of the UFC president it is simply a “fantasy.”

Other than Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brock Lesnar I can’t recall an MMA fight more talked about than Silva vs. GSP that isn’t happening in years. The fight had been rumored for over a year but looked off the radar when Dana White shot it down last year. The MMA world rejoiced when White changed his tune in January and told UFC fans that the fight was not only on the table, but targeted for 2011.

White later told reporters that if Anderson Silva beat Vitor Belfort and Georges St. Pierre beat Jake Shields, the fight would be made at 185. White said that GSP would make a permanent move to middleweight to take the fight. Unfortunately GSP has been rethinking that plan and recently said that the fight and the move were far from definite.

“I don’t know if I’m gonna go up to 185. I have no idea. It’s a complete reorientation of my career. I have a lot to lose. I haven’t think about it, I haven’t sat down to talk about it.”

Dana White told Ariel Helwani that the fight was a “fantasy fight”. He never said that the door was officially closed, but he was singing a much different tune than the tune he sang a few months ago when he laid out clear plans for the Super Fight. White also threw out the possibility that Yushin Okami and not St. Pierre would be up next for Silva. Whether it is GSP’s reluctance to move up in weight or the UFC’s reluctance to take St. Pierre out of the division, something has changed in the last few weeks in the UFC offices.

White also told reporters, “This fight isn’t happening. It’s not a fight yet. It’s still a big fantasy fight. There are still things that need to happen in the meantime before we sit down and discuss where this fight would be, what weight it would be at, how it would work. It’s all just fantasy yet”

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I don’t think anyone will come outright and say it but I think UFC’s parent company Zuffa LLC buying Strikeforce is the biggest influence in the new change of plans. Before the purchase, the UFC had only one Mega Fight on the table and that was GSP vs. Anderson Silva. With the addition of the Strikeforce fighters, the UFC now has several options for Super Fights on the table. Even better, nobody has to change divisions to get there.

Additionally, Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre now have fresh challengers in their respective divisions. Up until the purchase, there weren’t any appealing fights left for either fighter in their respective divisions. Quite honestly there still aren’t that many, but the integration of Strikeforce fighters does open up new opportunities for both divisions.

I understand why fans want to see the fight but I didn’t get why the UFC caved into the pressure. There are weight classes for a reason and just because a guy is great in one weight class doesn’t necessarily mean that he’d be good in another. GSP would be greatly outsized in a fight with Silva as he would be against several other middleweights. Unless the two were going to fight at a catchweight of 177-180, it didn’t make sense to me to take the biggest drawing card away from one division for one mega fight.

The door is still open for the fight but my gut feeling says that this one is at least a year away from happening if at all.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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