Although nothing has been officially announced or confirmed after Anderson Silva stunned Vitor Belfort with a front kick knockout (seriously, a front kick KO?) there has at least been overtures made by UFC ‘Don’ Dana White about a potential super-fight versus welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
These are the two preeminent pound-for-pound kingpins and the two most dominant champions of their respective divisions and it is certainly a fight that based on the two names involved alone will qualify as a “super-fight”. However I contend if the two do end up in the octagon together it won’t be much of an actual fight.
First I have to say that I respect Anderson Silva and the skills he brings to the table, he hasn’t lost in the UFC and outside of one round to Dan Henderson and four and a half to Chael Sonnen he has looked as dominant as anyone in the history of the sport. But when Georges St. Pierre defeats Jake Shields (likely another 5 round decisive decision victory) and decides to dedicate himself to moving up to the 185-pound division, Silva is in deep trouble.
We have seen the blueprint to potentially defeating ‘The Spider’ and it is fairly clear, take him down, pound on him and frustrate him. Travis Lutter did this for one round (until completely gassing) and even had Silva mounted late in the first round and in some trouble. Dan Henderson took Anderson down and pounded on him for a round until taking a few brutal knees while standing and essentially giving up.
Chael Sonnen absolutely dominated Silva for four and a half rounds, beating him every single minute of the fight until seemingly tiring and getting himself caught in a triangle choke for one of the most miraculous comebacks in MMA history. None of Lutter, Henderson or Sonnen is in the same league as the pound-for-pound best fighter Georges St. Pierre.
GSP is in a league to himself in terms of his wrestling prowess and overall all-around mixed martial arts skill. Since being knocked out by Matt Serra GSP has run through the division with ease, not even losing a single round against some formidable opponents. While Anderson Silva has yet to lose a fight it is hard to compare the two in terms of competition fought during their respective careers.
Silva has beat a game but outclassed high-school teacher turned journeyman fighter Rich Franklin, the aging Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort and that’s about it. GSP has beaten one of the greatest fighters in UFC history in Matt Hughes twice, the legendary prodigy BJ Penn twice, a prime Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch as well as the underrated Josh Koscheck (twice).
Alves and Fitch have literally cleaned out the same division themselves and neither could even manage a single round against St. Pierre.
The issue of size has been brought up given that Silva fights at 185 and walks around over 200 lbs where as GSP fights at 170 and walks around at 190 lbs or so but I would argue that GSP is in fact the stronger man and better overall athlete, a scale be damned. GSP has already gone on record as saying if he is to move up in class (to middleweight, 185 lbs) he is going to remain there for good and gain weight slowly and properly.
Give GSP a task like that and I am scared to think of what will be the result given his unheralded work ethic and freakish genetics. Come fight night I wouldn’t give Silva any advantage at all in terms of strength and power, none. Silva is the bigger overall man of course but he isn’t known for his strength or power, he is known for having the best, most accurate and deadly striking skills in combat sports.
The only size factor is length and reach but if GSP tries to stand with Silva he is a fool, but we all know nobody in MMA brings a more well prepared and sound game plan to each fight than St. Pierre. St. Pierre is probably the best athlete in MMA and given that Chael Sonnen showed us the way to beat Silva I just don’t see how Silva can possibly defeat St. Pierre unless GSP decides to try his luck standing with the best striker in the world.
The fight won’t be easy for either man and beating Silva who some regard as unbeatable is an unenviable task but if GSP uses his main strength (wrestling) which just so happens to be Silva’s biggest and most glaring weakness I don’t see how Silva will be able to stop what Hughes, Penn, Alves, Fitch, Koscheck, Hardy and countless other fights haven’t.
Georges St. Pierre will handily beat Anderson Silva, either via the usual dominating five round decision or he will catch Silva in a submission in round three or four after frustrating and tiring Silva on the ground. Anderson Silva will go into the fight as a slight to strong favourite if and when a bout is announced but I give him only the usual puncher’s chance against GSP, it just isn’t a good matchup for him.