Matt Hughes: GSP Can Beat Anderson Silva, Should Take His Middleweight Title

John HeinisSenior Analyst INovember 13, 2012

Photo Courtesy of MMA Weekly
Photo Courtesy of MMA Weekly

An old adversary of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre doesn't only believe that GSP can beat Anderson Silva, the middleweight title holder, but that he can bump up a weight class and take "The Spider's" title. 

Matt Hughes, a former dominant UFC champion at 170-pounds, said as much in a recent interview with

“If I was Georges I would tell the UFC if they want to make this fight between the two of them they should contest it at 185lbs. and Silva should put his title on the line. If Georges is going to fight Silva he might as well add the additional weight and try and get a belt out of the deal. That’s the way I would look at it, the price for me would be an opportunity to unify the two titles."

Hughes attributes "Rush's" ability to transition from striking to wrestling well and his superior conditioning as to why he would be able to defeat Silva in a long-awaited Octagon showdown. 

“I really believe if GSP and Silva fight Georges will have his hand raised,” Hughes said confidently. “I have a lot of respect for Georges having lost to him twice. GSP is not a great wrestler, but he transitions so well from striking to wrestling that he will be on Silva’s legs before Anderson even knows what’s going on. I believe Georges is that quick and I don’t think Silva will be able to do a whole lot with Georges on top of him ... Georges is going to be in great shape, he always is and I don’t think Silva would be able to use his weight advantage on GSP to try and tire him out. If anyone will get tired I think it will be Silva because he’s not going to be in the positions he wants to be in."

Many expected a superfight with Silva to be academic if St-Pierre beats interim welterweight champ Carlos Condit at UFC 154 this Saturday.

More fuel was added to the fire when it was announced that the Brazilian would be in attendance at UFC 154, with the speculation being that Silva would personally challenge GSP in the Octagon with a victory.

However, Silva told Brazilian MMA media outlet Tatame on Sunday that would not happen and he doesn't plan to return to the Octagon until late 2013. 

Silva last defended his title against rival Chael Sonnen at UFC 148, defeating him via Round 2 TKO. The 37-year-old most recently defeated Stephen Bonnar, also via TKO, at UFC 153 in October, but that bout was contested at light heavyweight. 

Hughes had a trilogy with St-Pierre from October 2004 and December 2007, defeating him at their initial meeting at UFC 50, but losing their subsequent meetings at UFC 65 and UFC 79.

Is Hughes analysis of GSP vs. Silva realistic or is his opinion skewed due to his old rivalry with the French-Canadian champion?