Turn the Paige: Risk Not Worth the Reward in a Silva vs. St-Pierre Superfight Paige Berger November 20, 2012 News The fuel for the fire caused by the clamoring for a superfight got a little bit stronger over the weekend. As sure as the sun rises every morning, Georges St-Pierre won his fight at UFC 154. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but this fight may have had a bit more question behind it. St-Pierre was coming off a 19-month layoff due to a severe knee injury and was taking on what many believed to be his most dangerous opponent to date. However, the 31-year-old once again dominated his opponent from start to finish, only encountering any turbulence on his otherwise smooth ride to another title defense in the third round when challenger Carlos Condit connected a beautiful kick to the champion’s chin. The ease with which St-Pierre handled the interim champ has people calling for a superfight with pound-for-pound king and middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Sure, the pure thought of a champion versus champion fight in a 100,000-seat stadium sounds awesome, but dig a little bit deeper and it’s clear that no one really benefits from this fight aside from the UFC’s bank account. First of all, for the first time in recent memory, there are legitimate contenders in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions. In the welterweight division, Johny Hendricks needed less than a minute total to knock out both Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann. He came out victorious in a three-round war with Josh Koscheck, and may just have the wrestling pedigree to truly challenge the likes of St-Pierre. In addition to Hendricks, Rory MacDonald is only a fight or two away from being a legitimate contender—even if he says he doesn’t want a title shot so long as St-Pierre is the champ—and Nick Diaz is coming off of his suspension right around the time “Rush” would be looking to defend his title again. For the middleweights, it’s not quite as cut and dry, as many feel that Chris Weidman isn’t ready for a title shot. That being said, he’s still deserving of one. A dynamic win over Mark Munoz as well as a short-notice victory over Demian Maia have solidified Weidman’s spot as the No. 1 contender. Strikeforce will be closing its doors in January, which will mean Luke Rockhold will finally be in the UFC. If UFC President Dana White and company truly don’t feel Weidman is ready, they can have a title unification match between Rockhold and Silva. Also lurking in the shadows is everyone’s favorite Brit, Michael Bisping. If the contenders in each division aren’t enough to sell you on why this fight should not take place, then what about the size difference between the two? Silva’s last fight was at light heavyweight. Yes, that fight was a last minute, save the entire card type of situation, but it wasn’t the first time he’s fought at 205 either. Conversely, St-Pierre looked small in the cage with Condit Saturday night. Additionally, the French-Canadian has mentioned multiple times that he can’t fluctuate his weight the way Silva can, and that if he were to go up a weight class, then he’d have to stay at middleweight. Does anyone really want to see St-Pierre as a full-time middleweight? Most of those guys are cutting from the 220-pound range, whereas St-Pierre doesn’t even walk around at 200 pounds. Catchweight, you say? You’ve seen Silva, right? He cuts from north of 220 and is 38 years old. Even if you think he could make 177 pounds, it definitely wouldn’t be healthy. But perhaps the most important reason this fight should never happen is because these guys are both legends of the sport. It’s not very often that a sport sees athletes such as St-Pierre and Silva in the same generation—likely the reason this fight would be such a spectacle and why so many people want it to begin with. Silva has nothing to gain from this fight. If he wins, he should’ve won. If he loses, then he lost to a guy who is significantly smaller than him and he tarnishes his legacy. For St-Pierre, he’d have a bit more to gain by pulling off the upset, but that’s exactly what it’d be—an upset—so why would a guy with the mental capacity of St-Pierre set himself up for failure? The risk is not worth the reward for either man. This brings me to my next and final point. The only beneficiary to this fight is the UFC itself. Should the fight happen, White has said it’d likely take place at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, with other possibilities including a soccer stadium in Brazil or a venue in Toronto. Cowboys Stadium seats 100,000 people. That’s an absolutely gigantic gate. Couple that with the pay-per-view buys and this fight has the potential to be the equivalent of winning the Power Ball, only on a much larger scale for the UFC. Meanwhile, you’d have two legends of the sport—1-A and 1-B in the power rankings—going at it with each other only for one of your two cash cows to come out on the losing end. Legacy tarnished, ego blown. Ultimately, Dana White will get what he wants, and if he wants this fight to happen, it will happen regardless of what’s at stake for the two men involved. At some point, one or both men will lose. All good things must come to an end eventually, but until then, continue to build two of the most storied weight classes from within. Let the young guys get their shot, but most importantly, allow both Silva and St-Pierre to live out their legacy the way it was meant to be. Photo: Anderson Silva (James Law/Heavy MMA) Mike The UFC would not be the only beneficiary the fans would get to see a very intriguing fight. Granted Jones vs Silva is the fight most fans want to see happen. Silva has said he will not accept this fight because he said he can not win that fight. Josh First of all, Anderson Silva is a respectful type fighter who respects others. If he knows he is going to beat a fighter we wont say it unless his opponent starts running off at the mouth. Silva is not going to come out and say “i can destroy jon jones” that would cause for a more of a push for a fight. Jon Jones is in his prime while the light heavyweights are in their old stages such as Forrest griffin coming of surgery, tito ortiz at i believe 33 or 34, Silva is 38 and still pulling championship wins. Give Jon jones someone to compete with. Yes the fans would benefit, but thats the problem with others sports. It is about what the fans want and not the risk of legends of the sport. I dont think putting two legends in diffrent weight classes in a fight is neccesary. A fighter who moves up or down in weight is not gonna be ready enough. Fighters should stick to their division unless neccesary to move up.