(Image courtesy of MMAViewers.com)
By CagePotato contributor Jason Moles
Never before in the history of MMA has there been a more heavily anticipated fight than the one we may see in the not-too-distant future between UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva and welterweight champ Georges “Rush” St. Pierre. This is the Ali vs. Frazier of our sport.
UFC President Dana White has said that should St. Pierre beat welterweight contender Jake Shields at UFC 129, he would put the two fighters in the Octagon to let them answer the question talking heads have debated for so long: Who is the pound-for-pound best mixed martial artist in the world?
Nevertheless, one has to wonder how likely it is that the super fight actually comes to fruition. Some would argue that there is too much money to be made for this not to happen. Yeah, go tell that to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Others would have you believe that if the fans want something, Uncle Dana gives it to them — like another fight on the free prelims after a thousand or so RT’s. We here at CagePotato don’t enjoy raining on your parade, but we do enjoy poking holes in your sails if it will keep you from inevitable heartbreak. With all of this in mind, know that for every reason this fight could and should happen, there are three more for why it cannot. Below is a quick rundown on the obstacles and potential problems facing the fight of the decade.
PROBLEM: GSP wants to wait an entire year to bulk up to middleweight. I contacted Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, who said “The Spider” would not wait that long to fight again because he still has five fights left on his contract and he’s not getting any younger.
SOULTION: Make the fight a catch-weight bout near the 177lb. range. Under the unified rules, it could still be a five-round fight for the Middleweight title. If that doesn’t work, tell St. Pierre to use Frank Mir’s buddy Mark Philippi. The seven time World’s Strongest Man competitor helped Mir gain 20-25 lbs. of muscle in just five months from UFC 100 in July ’09 to UFC 107 in December ’09. If all else fails, “Rush” could always go on a horsemeat diet.
PROBLEM: Neither fighter is enthusiastic to fight in the other’s back yard.
SOLUTION: Don’t make the fight in Montreal, Toronto, or Rio de Janeiro. “When you start thinking about an Anderson Silva-GSP fight, you could do it anywhere,” White stated. “But it would be tough not to do the thing in Canada.” I know you’re reading this Mr. White so allow me to speak on behalf of Potato Nation when I say, Don’t screw this up for us! This fight will sell out even if you put it in the Seventh Ring of Hell. We would be doing our best Brock Lesnar impersonation trying to get past the Minotaur. (As long as it didn’t watch the Velasquez fight, we’ll make it there on time too.) Let this spectacle be held in Texas’ Cowboy Stadium or any place in Vegas. If you build it, they will come.
PROBLEM: Olympic-style drug testing, anyone?
SOLUTION: Don’t worry about this one. Of all the potential threats to the fight of all fights, this one was beaten before it ever really got going. Remember a few months back when Josh Koscheck started flapping his gums about this? Then you’ll certainly remember the UFC prez telling Kos to know his role and shut his damn mouth, Jabroni!
PROBLEM: The ESPN MMA Live curse
SOLUTION: None. Pray for both men to stay healthy. This may have slipped the memories of some, but hardcore fans remember when an appearance on the late-late-late night show was the final nail in the coffin. I am not superstitious; ergo I easily jump this hurdle and immediately see a similar, more realistic threat. Injury. If either combatant suffers injury during training camp like Rashad Evans or is poked in the eye on the last day of sparring like ‘Cro Cop’, Joe Silva can’t possibly find a Seth Petruzelli to step in. Fans would demand a refund after hearing that the main event is canceled.
PROBLEM: Jake Shields (26-4-1)
SOLUTION: All of Canada better queue up ‘Men Who Stare at Goats’ on Netflix to learn how to use the very same forbidden psychological technologies that cost Fedor his last fight. This may be the only thing that powerful enough to stop the American Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. You know, I wouldn’t blame him if he took a bribe from the Fertitas to throw the fight, I really wouldn’t. (Can you tell that I really, really want to see Silva/St. Pierre?) The first and last EliteXC Welterweight Champion, former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, and the winner of fifteen straight bouts is the most prominent obstruction on GSP’s path to the title of Undisputed P4P Champion, even if he is a vegetarian. His record speaks for itself and if you have been watching combat sports for as long as I have then you know that it is entirely possible for Buster Douglas to beat Mike Tyson.