Since UFC 154 and George 'Rush' St. Pierre’s dominant decision win over Carlos Condit, rumours have swirled like a twister in the courtyard over a super fight between the welterweight champion and middleweight kingpin and #1 pound for pound fighter Anderson 'The Spider' Silva.
Anderson Silva has been pining for the match up for some time, and might be getting desperate since his ultimate retirement looms. He has nothing left to prove other than fighting GSP, the #2 pound for pound MMA fighter. While almost all fans and pundits pick the much longer limbed, larger Silva to win, GSP poses significant risks for the Brazilian.
If a heavier fighter challenges a lighter fighter, it should be incumbent upon the former to move to the latter’s weight class. Silva walks around at 215-220 pounds, but he fought at 168 in PRIDE. It’s unclear whether or not Silva could cut an extra 7-8 pounds today if they fought at a catch weight of 177-178. GSP’s walk around weight is only about 187, so many fans feel Silva needs to make this concession.
Former welterweight champion Matt Hughes came up with an interesting point, suggesting GSP has a legit shot at beating Silva. GSP’s unrivalled transition from striking to takedowns, Hughes says, poses significant problems for Silva, who has shown susceptibility to takedowns by good wrestlers. Even with his long limbs and ability to defend off his back, Silva may be doing that the entire fight.
Hughes therefore suggests the fight take place at 185 and that Silva put his belt on the line. No word yet on Silva’s opinion on Hughes’ take, but Silva doesn’t seem apt to take risks at this stage of his career: he’s kyboshed suggestions that he move up and fight Jon 'Bones' Jones for the 205 pound belt, even though Silva has fought and won three bouts at this weight class, all KO/TKOs. GSP has never fought at 185.
Odds are Silva wins a super fight v. GSP via KO in the second or third, after finally thwarting a takedown. The benefit for GSP is that he really doesn’t stand to lose much street cred with a loss: Silva’s already ranked #1 pound for pound, GSP #2; Silva is so dominant at 185 and so much bigger than GSP---25-30 pounds---that it won’t reflect poorly on the Canadian’s rep at 170; GSP would be doing something Silva is not willing to do, namely fight the champion of the next weight class up.
I’d like to see GSP bargain for one more chip: have him sign the deal v. Silva if Silva inks to fight Jon Jones.
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