UFC 154: Anderson Silva Not Challenging GSP Is Actually a Great Thing for UFC

McKinley NobleCorrespondent INovember 12, 2012

Anderson Silva won't challenge GSP after UFC 154, and that's really a good thing.
Anderson Silva won't challenge GSP after UFC 154, and that's really a good thing.Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Is Georges St. Pierre dodging a bullet at UFC 154, or is Anderson Silva simply not willing to play a part in the elaborate conspiracy circulating around their superfight?

Either way, Silva won't be stepping into the cage to challenge GSP after St. Pierre's title unification bout with current interim champion Carlos Condit.

That's actually a good thing for the UFC and the entire welterweight division.

Plenty of people on the more practical side of the matchmaking fence agree that there's only a short-term gain to be made from pitting GSP and Silva against each other. Both men are completely different sizes in different weight classes, and unlike Silva, St. Pierre has never made a habit of moving up in weight.

GSP has spent years honing his frame into a perfection-seeking 170-pound machine, and that's exactly where he should stay.

In short, this author is relieved that Anderson Silva has told TATAME that he'll be "on vacation" after GSP and Condit meet at the Bell Centre in Montreal this Saturday.

But if you're disappointed at the news, think about it this way: Silva vs. GSP's failure to meet actually benefits far more pay-per-views and events in the long run than the superfight ever would.

Hopefully, all the new welterweight challengers and potential prospects will be able to get a chance at dethroning one of the sport's greatest champions without the asterisk of a (very probable) loss to Silva hanging over the aura and legacy of St. Pierre's pound-for-pound reign.

And with Silva out of the picture, there are so many new questions for the welterweight division, which has changed rapidly in St. Pierre's absence.

"Does a GSP vs. Nick Diaz fight still happen?"

"Do Martin Kampmann or Johny Hendricks have the grit to pull off a miracle upset?"

"Could UFC exile Nate Marquardt actually find his way into a title fight against GSP?"

If Silva and GSP never meet, those are the kinds of headlines you might see in the next year or two, and each one of them is an exciting subject.

Moreover, both men should be free to chase the UFC record books in order to establish the longest title reign, most consecutive title defenses and most consecutive wins in the promotion's history. Since Silva is supposedly on the verge of retirement and St. Pierre is still relatively young, there's actually a lot of intrigue in whether or not GSP or Jon Jones will catch Silva's streaks.

In essence, the Silva vs. GSP dream match should stay a dream.

In a perfect world, Silva and St. Pierre will never step into the Octagon to fight each other directly, but instead continue to battle for the top spot in the UFC record books, leaving us to forever debate which one was really the better pound-for-pound fighter.

That is, unless Condit actually beats St. Pierre and turns the welterweight division upside down.

[McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and FightFans Radio writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld and PC World. Talk with him on Twitter.]