Well, it’s pretty much upon us.
Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre.
The fight everyone wanted to see.
Better late than never, I suppose. It looks like 2013 will be the year that the eternal debate will finally be settled: “Will a bigger, meaner, more skilled man beat a smaller, nicer, less skilled man in unarmed combat?”
I, for one, can’t wait to plunk down my $60 to find out.
In the midst of all the pre-fight posturing from Dana White and Silva, the two men with the most to gain, it seems a forgone conclusion that St-Pierre will agree to fight. Although it’s pretty obvious he does not want to, St-Pierre is a good guy, a company man, and will make millions with an affirmative answer. He’s likely in.
But, do you know what’s going to happen to GSP if he agrees to fight Anderson Silva? He’ll be ruined. He’ll never be the same again.
Saturday night at UFC 154 the world got the closest its ever going to get to seeing the old Georges St-Pierre. The man who rose through the welterweight ranks in the mid-2000s like he was shot out of a cannon.
He was not the same flashy, exciting kid he was then—there was too much endorsement money at play for that. But he came to fight, got into an honest-to-goodness war, and came out the other end as the champion.
He proved to himself that getting hit was not the end of the world, and that he could still win a fight after being knocked down and having a lump on his head. Not every fight where you take a punch ends as his first meeting with Matt Serra did.
And what an epiphany that could prove to be for St-Pierre. Armed with the knowledge that he can withstand a fight against the closest thing to a real-life serial killer that MMA can produce in Carlos Condit, St-Pierre could go on quite a run at 170lbs.
Confidence in his abilities and faith in his technique could see St-Pierre produce good results in the coming year against Johny Hendricks and Nick Diaz. Fans have been dying to see that matchup since Diaz was still marauding through Strikeforce.
Instead, St-Pierre is going to fight Silva.
And St-Pierre is going to be knocked out.
Silva has proven he can beat wrestlers who are bigger and/or on steroids. He’s won fights against mammoth light heavyweights as well. His striking is in another stratosphere when compared to anyone else in MMA, and he’s an expert in more martial arts than most people have even heard of.
Silva's also bigger, meaner, and more skilled. Not to mention more ruthless. Man is he more ruthless.
While all the talk is that the stars have aligned like never before on the way to making this fight a reality, consider for a minute that they have not. Like, not at all.
The middleweight division is actually more competitive than it’s ever been under Silva’s reign. Depending on who you ask, there are four to six guys out there that are viable contenders.
Ditto for welterweight, which is full of young, hungry guys that have been waiting all year to see who would walk out of Montreal as the champion. Plus, of course, the fact that St-Pierre is returning from nearly two years on the shelf and is now being asked to jump up in weight to fight Silva after just one fight.
The UFC can not see the forest through the trees right now. It’s a cash grab. It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap. They gotta get out while they’re young.
That’s a digression, but the point remains the same: this is not the time to ruin the welterweight champion by feeding him to Anderson Silva’s legacy.
St-Pierre is fresh off an injury, just fought the toughest fight he’s had in years, and doesn’t even seem to want the fight that’s being offered to—nay, forced upon—him. He finally, finally gave fans a fight to remember at UFC 154, a fight that showed he has the spirit to match his substantial skill set, and now the promotion wants to throw it away.
The last time there was any sense of a fearless GSP, Serra shocked the world and, by extension, killed that incarnation of the champion.
That’s Matt Serra. Imagine what Anderson Silva would do.
To the UFC—don’t make the fight. There’s no need. Everyone knows how it’s going to end, and you’re going to ruin the second-greatest champion you’ve ever had in the process.
Let’s all just appreciate two great champions for what they are and leave it at that.