Best in Show: St. Pierre vs. Silva Would Be Fight for the Ages
Ask any MMA fan who the best pound for pound fighter in the sport is and two of names that will immediately come up are UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
St. Pierre’s dominant wrestling and striking have made him one of the best fighters the sport has seen. Silva, who has won 11 consecutive fights, has some of the best muay thai in the history of MMA. This leaves many fans wondering what would happen if the two ever met in the Octagon.
3 Reasons it Will Happen
1. The UFC has done it before
In January of last year St.Pierre took on UFC Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn in a rematch of their 2006 split-decision fight that GSP won in controversial fashion.
It was the first time in the organization’s history that two current champions went head to head. MMA fans certainly hope it won’t be the last.
Although the St. Pierre vs. Penn rematch was the first time two champs faced off, it wasn’t the first time fighters have fought in multiple weight classes.
Randy Couture has recently fought in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions, Silva himself has two fights at light heavyweight, and lightweight Nate Diaz has recently said he will be fighting in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions.
2. They’ve cleaned house
Both St. Pierre and Silva have little left to prove in their respective weight classes.
St. Pierre has successfully defended his title four times (if you include his win over Matt Serra after he became the interim champ) and Silva has defended his middleweight crown five times.
GSP is scheduled to face Dan Hardy in March, but after that there are few intriguing fights for him in the welterweight division.
Silva will most likely defend his title in April against Vitor Belfort, but other than a possible rematch with Nate Marquardt, the middleweight division has little to offer him.
3. Money, money, money
This is the simplest explanation for why the fight will happen. The UFC is a business and the goal of a business is to make money. If this fight were to take place, it could be the highest grossing pay-per-view in the history of the organization.
The card would not need to include any other top-tier fighters and it would still be a huge draw. Dana White and company love to hype up fights and this fight would give them plenty of opportunities to do just that.
3 Reasons it Won’t Happen
1. St. Pierre is too small
GSP has relied on his take downs and ground and pound in recent wins over Thiago Alves, B.J. Penn, and Jon Fitch. It is unlikely he would be able to the same against the much larger Silva.
Silva is a very large middleweight and along with fighting at light heavyweight multiple times, he has recently expressed interest in fighting at heavyweight. The weight St. Pierre would need to put on for the fight could slow him down and interfere with his outstanding conditioning.
A potential showdown between GSP and Silva could leave their weight classes in limbo. If the two fought, it would determine the pound for pound champion in most people’s minds, but in might not be a title fight. While it could be for the middleweight title, the welterweight division would then be left in an unusual place.
If GSP won, he could have two belts to defend and even if he didn’t, the welterweight title would go undefended for an extended period of time. Although the UFC has held interim championship fights in the past, it is probably something they would prefer to avoid.
3. Money, money, money
Although a showdown between St. Pierre and Silva would likely be one of the biggest pay-per-view draws in history, it would also weaken future cards.
The UFC would be featuring two of their most popular fighters, both of whom are capable of headlining their own card, in the same fight.
If the fight were to take place, it probably wouldn’t happen until at least late 2010, but it would be well worth the wait for fight fans.