Is GSP Ready for Anderson Silva?

Last night was a night that fans across the MMA world had long waited for – the return of one of their kings to the octagon. After an eighteen month lay-off, Georges St. Pierre returned to the ring to defend his title against one the few legitimate contenders left within the welterweight division, Carlos Condit. While GSP would go onto easily dispatch of Condit to maintain his champion status, I was left asking myself whether or not St. Pierre could really take on Anderson Silva in what would no doubt be heralded as the biggest fight in the history of the UFC?

 Before breaking out reasons to make the case for GSP taking on Silva, we have to ask ourselves at what weight class this fight would happen? Realistically, at the middleweight division (even with a year of preparation) I personally can’t believe that Silva vs. St. Pierre could be a fair fight; Silva is just too big. While St. Pierre might walk into a middleweight match-up weighing around 190 lbs, Silva would be around 205 lbs; not to mention, St. Pierre would be giving up a significant speed advantage if he put on the weight/muscle. A little known fact is that Silva did used to fight at 169 lbs in Japan, so the possibility of Silva dropping down a few pounds and the two fighting at a catch-weight would likely make the most sense – in terms of the best show for the fans.

 As far as St. Pierre defining his reign at the top of the Welterweight division, I think it is clear that there is very little competition of interest for him left at 170 lbs.  Last night Johnny Hendricks did what he does, and knocked Martin Kampmann out clean, adding to an already impressive string of victories against a fairly respectable list of opponents (e.g. Kampmann, Fitch). Hendricks I think is a solid number one contender, but I don’t really think anyone is seen as that much of a serious threat against St. Pierre at welterweight anymore. Gone are the days, where Matt Hughes vs. Georges St. Pierre was seen as the ultimate fight. At the end of the day, people want to see “talent vs. talent” in a really big fight, and there are very few who have a talent level anywhere close to the current champ at welterweight.

 I guess the next question is the chin. While St. Pierre did clearly win the fight last night, not since Matt Serra’s epic upset have we seen the champion in such trouble. Condit landed a flush left high kick to St. Pierre’s head in the third round that put GSP flat on his back, and Condit tried to take advantage… almost putting taking the belt in the process.

 Could going against someone with precision knock-out power like Silva be devastating to St. Pierre? Probably, but not because of what happened last night. The kick that Condit landed would have knocked-out 8 out 10 fighters on any given day. What was really more impressive was how well St. Pierre recovered after such a damaging blow. In my opinion this puts a check in the column that he would be ready to face a guy like Silva. Silva can knock-out anyone at any given time, but St. Pierre has proven that he has the ability to scramble and recover. I don’t think after seeing GSP’s face in the post-fight press conference last night anyone could say the guy has a glass chin.

So, to answer my initial question – is St. Pierre ready for Silva? I think he’s ready as he’ll ever be, as long as they fight at a catch-weight and not 185 lbs. I am by no means saying that St. Pierre would win said match-up, but I think he is reaching his peak, and if this fight doesn’t happen soon than it won’t be relevant to any of us.

So for Christmas this year, I am going to ask Uncle Dana (aka Dana White) for the super-fight that we have all been salivating for. The evasiveness around the subject of all those interested parties at the fight last night tell me that the wheels are in motion, and that GSP and Silva both know that they’re ready for it!

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