“That sounds great, I think GSP is an incredible fighter. But I think GSP needs to prove himself. He still hasn’t had a successful title defense (at 170 lbs.). I don’t really feel that he deserves (a Silva fight) yet. Go defend your title a few times and then we’ll talk.”
The thing is, St. Pierre has proven himself many times over to be an elite-level fighter, and Soares is veering uncomfortably close to Juanito Ibarra territory, wild statement-wise. But what makes his dismissal of GSP particularly ironic is that Spider’s next fight is likely going to be against Patrick Cote, who doesn’t deserve to be in the same room as Silva or GSP. With Yushin Okami suffering a broken hand, Cote is really and truly next in line for a title shot; that little shitshow could happen at UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta).
A relatively one-dimensional striker, Cote doesn’t bring any more to the table than James Irvin did, and their bout will almost certainly be another brief exhibition for Silva. The silver lining is that with this belt-defense obligation out of the way quickly, Silva will be free to “test the waters” at light-heavyweight again — and he does plan on fighting at least one more time before the end of the year.
Sort of related: “UFC Silva vs. Irvin” was a ratings smash. The broadcast averaged 3.1 million viewers, peaked at 3.8 million viewers, and according to SpikeTV, beat all basic cable and broadcast networks in that timeslot for the “males 18-49″ and “males/females 18-34″ demographics.