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UFC 131: Georges St. Pierre Vs Anderson Silva?

By Luigi Lizares Yunque

“I would love to fight at UFC 131, but it depends on the boss.”

This is what GSP had to say during the post-fight press conference of UFC 124. Even though this would be the shortest time period for St. Pierre, he would be the perfect choice for that card. The fight card is not finalized yet, but it looks like if ever GSP fights in Toronto it would be against Former Elite XC Welterweight Champion, Strikeforce Middleweight Champion and #1 UFC Welterweight contender Jake Shields. Shields signed on to the UFC after defeating former Pride FC champion Dan Henderson to retain his Strikeforce Middleweight Belt. During Jake Shields’ first outing under the UFC at UFC 121; Lesnar vs. Carwin he won the right to fight for a title against Georges St. Pierre, when he defeated the #6 ranked welterweight Martin Kampman. Even though I considered it a lackluster performance by Shields, it was a controversial split decision. Very technical fight, but it was downright boring. No disrespect to Jake Shields, he is one of the most dominant fighter in both the Welterweight and Middleweight division outside the UFC. He deserves a shot at the Title. I just don’t want to be put to sleep while watching.

A Jake Shields vs. GSP would be a great main event for UFC 131, it will bring in more fans, and even break attendance records for a UFC event. But I attribute this more to St. Pierre’s popularity rather than the excitement it will generate when the bell rings. GSP has a bigger fan-base in Toronto than his hometown of Montreal, and this alone is a guarantee that the venue will be sold out the minute they start selling tickets. In my opinion Georges is currently the most popular athlete to have ever come out of Canada. Yes, Wayne Gretzky comes to mind, but people won’t recognize outside of Canada and the USA. When St. Pierre visited the Philippines last September to promote the UFC and MMA itself, he was mobbed wherever he went to. Wayne Gretzky would just be another tourist if set foot in the Philippines.

To the casual Mixed Martial Arts fight fans out there who is not familiar with “The Spider”, he is the only fighter I consider right that can defeat Georges St. Pierre convincingly. He has been the undefeated since April the 22nd 2006. Anderson defended his Middleweight belt successfully 7 consecutive times and even moves up to the Light-Heavyweight division twice and he demolished both of his opponents. Silva has a record of most wins in the Ultimate Fighting Championships with 13 consecutive wins. He holds the distinction of being the #1 pound for pound MMA fighter in the world today.

My personal rating for both fighters is the same as the majority of MMA publications world wide. My #1 would be Silva and #2 is GSP. If I were to compare the two, the big difference between both fighters is that Anderson Silva is a finisher. Not just any finisher, he is such a dominant fighter in his weight division that ends it up toying with his opponents. He even knocked out Light Heavyweight contender James Irvin and Former UFC Champion Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin when he moved up to their division. Anderson Silva is well known for his Muay Thai elbows and knee strikes, but he is also very successful with his boxing and his kicks. Not only is he accurate with his punches but also has knock-out power with both hands. He is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the tutelage of the former Pride FC and UFC Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera.

The only time that Silva showed a chink in his armor was his title defense against the then ranked #2 middleweight contender Chael Sonnen. Sonnen was trash talking Anderson Silva the same way Josh Koscheck was to Georges St. Pierre. During the fight everyone thought Silva will be as dominant as he always was. This turned out to be anything but that. Chael was the one dictating the pace of the fight. He was taking Silva down at will, even hitting him more times in that fight than he did in his entire UFC career. Sonnen was well on his way to winning the fight until Anderson Silva was able to sneak in a triangle choke while Sonnen was on the top position. He submitted Chael Sonnen with 2 minutes left remaining on the final round. Sonnen forgot that not only was Silva an effective striker but was also a very gifted submission artist.

On the other side of the coin we have Georges St. Pierre. A fighter that looks better and better every time he walks into the octagon. After every fight he scrutinizes what went wrong and works on it until he perfects it. He is known to travel anywhere in the world to better his all around fight game. His most recent addition to his training was with boxing trainer extraordinaire Freddie Roach. His training with Roach was culminated when he fought Josh Koscheck during the UFC 124. GSP’s jab was the story of the whole fight. It was so effective it broke Koscheck’s right orbital bone. One thing he was not able to do was to finish the fight. St. Pierre has always been dominant, but was not able to finish any of his last 3 opponents. He may be the smartest fighter in the UFC, but with regard to killer instinct, I give that to Anderson Silva.

There are a couple of hurdles before getting this fight though. First is Silva’s title defense against one of my all time favorite fighter Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort at UFC 126, on the 5th of February 2011. On paper this will look like another walk in the park of “The Spider” but I’ve seen what Belfort can do when his game is on, and he is as devastating as Silva if he lets those hands go. I am giving that fight to Silva by KO, but Belfort has more than a fighting chance win that fight. Next would be injuries. During Anderson’s last fight with Sonnen he mentioned that he had a broken rib prior to that epic battle. Big fights are usually not made because of an injury. Let’s hope that will not happen.

So why settle for a Shields vs. St. Pierre title fight, if we can get a match-up that everyone has been dreaming of for the past 2 years? It would be a Super-Fight between the current Welterweight UFC Champion and the current Middleweight UFC Champions Georges “RUSH” St. Pierre vs. Anderson “SPIDER” Silva. This is a fight that everyone wants to see right now.

If the UFC wants their 1st fight in Toronto to be more than just another GSP spectacle, it has to be a fight for the undisputed Pound for Pound MMA fighter of the World. This will not just make it the most successful MMA fight ever for the UFC it will also be MMA’s “Thrilla in Manila.”

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