Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre is All About Dollars, Not Sense

November 25, 2012
41 Comments

Anderson Silva vs Georges St-PierreIt was a proud moment for Georges St-Pierre to step inside the cage at the Bell Centre last Saturday night to defend his UFC welterweight title.

More than a year had passed since the Canadian stepped foot in the Octagon after a devastating knee injury required surgery and months of rehab. Mixed in with the physical ailments was a mental hurdle that St-Pierre had to jump because, for the months leading up to his last fight at UFC 129, he had lost the love for fighting.

Luckily for the UFC and fans around the world, the time off provided St-Pierre some much needed rest and gave him the chance to realize he missed fighting, he missed competing and he missed the rush of what it felt like to be in the UFC.

So upon his return, St-Pierre was greeted by interim UFC champ Carlos Condit, and outside of a third-round scare that saw him get planted on the mat by a head kick, the long reigning welterweight king did what he does best – dominate on the ground and win a one-sided decision.

Before St-Pierre could even have the belt wrapped around his waist, cameras were already panning cageside where UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva sat smiling. You see, Silva has been asking for a “superfight” against St-Pierre for the past several months, and says it’s the one fight he really, really wants right now.

St-Pierre’s done his best to avoid the subject and even after the fight tried to keep the focus on his win over Carlos Condit, not a potential bout against Silva.

The UFC is all in on a fight between the two champions because it would likely provide for them the biggest pay-per-view of all time, and one of the biggest selling live events in company history. A Silva vs. St-Pierre show would pack a major stadium in either the U.S., Brazil or Canada, and would shatter records because St-Pierre and Silva sit at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively as the biggest draws in the promotion in terms of selling rates on pay-per-view.

The problem of the superfight seems to lie in the future of Georges St-Pierre, and the UFC is gambling an awful lot on a fighter they could likely promote for the next five to six years, easily, but it might all go away should he lose to Anderson Silva in this mega-fight.

If St-Pierre goes up to middleweight, or even up to a catchweight of say 178 pounds, he’s stated numerous times that it would likely signal the end of his welterweight career. That’s in large part why there’s been so much posturing from St-Pierre’s camp about Silva dropping down to 170 pounds to take the potential superfight, should it happen.

Add to that, St-Pierre has been a welterweight his entire career and he’s perfectly suited for the weight class. He is five-feet-10-inches tall, which is considerably shorter than many of the top middleweights, and while he’s been described as a “huge welterweight,” as the division continues to grow, so do the fighters.

The most significant arguing factor against a Silva vs. St-Pierre superfight may just be a man by the name of Johny Hendricks.

When St-Pierre left the welterweight division to deal with his knee surgery, there weren’t many top contenders roaming around for him to fight. Now that he’s back, St-Pierre already faced a clear-cut No. 1 fighter in Carlos Condit, and after flattening two top five welterweights in the span of 11 months, Johny Hendricks has by far done enough to earn a shot at the title.

Add to that the fact that Silva has two middleweight contenders potentially lining up for him in the next three months and, from a sporting aspect at least, the fight with St-Pierre makes even less sense, except when you look at it for what it’s truly about – a money grab.

The UFC is a business and their business is like any other business, it needs to make money and there is no fight with bigger potential than a bout between Silva and St-Pierre. But the fallout in terms of divisions being held in limbo and at least one of your most marketable fighters and champions being handed a loss can’t be good for future revenue.

No one’s hand should be forced in this situation, but a Silva vs. St-Pierre superfight is no longer about who is truly the pound-for-pound best in the sport – it’s about cashing in on a five-year-old idea, and making a boat load of cash along the way.

There’s nothing wrong with making the money, but at what expense to the rest of the UFC?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kstinkz Kev Stinx

    The expensive is 1 fighter and many fans I believe.
    There is the small possibility that GSP could hold Silva down and defeat him by boring the crowd and damagethe UFC’s most successful fighter’s legency.

    I feel you are practically collapsing 2 divisions into one in a search, which will only leave one man’s reputation potentially damaged.

    Becoming a big of a freak show, any chance Silva will fight a light weight in future? Just let Silva fight the kitchen sink, would be a more direct route.

    Silva highlight’s how poor many of the fighters in the UFC really are, you think Bonner is half decent until you see Silva make a joke out of it. The talent in the UFC is very shallow,

    so i guess you have to make fights at the deep end.

    • adam1848

      Don’t think it damages GSP’s reputation to lose to the larger fighter, although it would be bad for Anderson to be held down for five rounds, which I think is a possibility. Don’t see it collapsing either division, just puts a title shot on hold for Hendricks and Weidmann for a few more months…they are young and not going anywhere. Don’t see how it is a freak show or how you can say the UFC’s talent pool is shallow…what are you comparing it to? And lets not forget Silva Bonnar was put together to to save a crumbling card…its not like that was the match up the UFC wanted for Silva, it was the best they could do on short notice, and everyone knew before hand it was a joke, hence the odds. Too much complaining surrounding this issue, in my opinion. Its just a fight, its not that big of a deal. I’ll buy it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kstinkz Kev Stinx

        I don’t see GSP having much chance against Silva. But am not a big fan of GSP, his fights are mostly boring.

        It’s the direction the UFC has been heading.
        Allowing fighters to move from one division title fight to another which delays things further for people who working there way up. With injuries and fighters fighting out of their natural weight slows down the whole progression with the addition of novelty fights.

        You have Sonnen floating around with a fight for a title campaign.

        I thought the UFC had moved away from open weight classes or gimmicks. We have already seen gimmicks like: Kimbo, Lesnar, James Tony.

        More and more fighters are getting banned for substance abuse, what is going on?

        It feels as if the UFC has recently landed on its head creating a big mess, not including TUF, that was a waste of time.

        Silva vs Jones reminds me of some of those dream fights, giant vs little guy, or the worlds strongest man fighting in MMA.

        What is of real interest is:
        Dos Santos vs Jones

        Does anyone else want to see:
        Santos vs Jones?

        • Daniel Winge Stride

          i want to see alistair vs jones :) i think that would be a fun fight;) and alistair had a sade would fight him in HW;)

        • adam1848

          Kev, I think you have some good points. The whole Chael situation is absurd and I agree fighters testing positive so often is a huge problem, far bigger than the injury plague which gets more attention. I agree Kimbo and Tony were gimmicks and I don’t know why the UFC even let Randy fight James. I was at that UFC in Boston and although everybody loved seeing Randy kick some ass, it was a complete Joke. And although I would love to see Bones fight dos Santos, I don’t see that fight as being too different than Silva v Jones. From what I’ve heard, Silva walks around about 210, Jones about 225, dos Santos about 240. Plus Silva and dos Santos have the same reach. To me, they are both interesting match ups.

  • nhanes

    Cry me a river Damon. You sound like most overreacting women that I have met. Fighters win fighters lose. The UFC will recover from this catostrophically bad outcome to the super fight. UFC just allowed women in the UFC let’s not report like one ok

  • pijl

    Well Silva said he would also fight Jones. I don’t know why everyone’s hating on Anderson.

    • Milosc

      If he fought Jones first, he would look much less an opportunistic bully

      • shereko

        Umm how long you want Silva sitting around at the end of his career, I want to see him fight, and Weidman is hurt and Jones is signed to fight in April… Think realistically. He’ll fight Jones too, but mind you Jones said, “This is business and I dont want to risk sponsorships by fighting Silva”… So keep hating

      • http://twitter.com/HerrMendez Federico Mendez

        if he fought Jones and lost, he wouldn’t get to fight GSP. There is no way he loses to GSP, so by fighting him first he secures the biggest possible pay day

    • Kris-tyahn

      So why don’t he fight Jones & if he wins, which he wont, then he wont need to fight GSP!

      • humpty hump

        why would Anderson not make more money and fight #2 and #3 p4p?

        don’t go into business, you aren’t cut out for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcos.antonio.3511 Marcos Carlos

    Anderson wins this struggle easy easy kkkk, goes retire without losing neither a champion

  • Nick C.

    This fight makes no sense whatsoever. You have two fighters that are legends in their respective weight class and Dana wants to take one of them and increase his legendary status while the loser will lose some of his mystique.

    This is no different than Annika Sorenstam, the most dominant woman on the LPGA tour at the time trying her hand in a men’s PGA tournament. It didn’t work out too well. Or Michael Jordan, the most dominant basketball player during his time trying his hand at baseball.

    There are young contenders ready to go for each of these guys…Johnny Hendricks for GSP and Chris Weidman for Silva. Let these champs continue to dominate their weight classes. It serves no purpose for these two to fight each other except for the UFC bringing in a boatload of cash. If it’s all about money then this sport is going to lose it’s luster real quick.

    I’d rather see dominant champs fight their weight class than experiment with side-shows and circus type atmosphere.

    • shereko

      Lol really its the same as Jordan playing baseball? Hmm I think you’re out of touch with reality, if not analogies

    • MaritalArtist

      This fight is not a circus show. Your post is a circus show. Let GSP and Silva fight.

    • bibk320@gmail.com

      Your comments are a circus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nathanael.c.phillips Nathanael C. Phillips

    @ Nick C. Who cares about “losing mystique”. Last I checked it is the ULTIMATE FIGHTER championship. This whole situation is ***** ********. Royce Gracie fought tons of people way bigger than him, and people are saying its unfair for GSP to fight Silva cuz he’s 20 pounds or so bigger. In your words, GSP should fight for “Mystique” and attaining “Legend” status, not to see who the best fighter in the world is. Lame. Let ‘em line up and scrap and see who the best is.

    Thats how I hate how mainstream this sport has gotten. Its not about being the baddest man on the planet anymore its about your “Legacy”.

    • George Sperry

      If you saw R Gravcie beating those fighters that were bigger thasn he was, I assume you did, then you know that back in the day it was about different disciplines fighting to “prove” superiority. The fighters were not the well rounded fighters of today, and that includes R. Gracie.
      Gracie was doing things that the other fighters didn’t know or understand. Most of the time they didn’t even know Gracie was doing anything at all.
      This isn’t 1995 and Silva has all the talent in the world, so does GSP but today size makes the difference.

    • MuayThaiFood

      When Royce Gracie fought and beat guys way bigger than him it was because nobody at the time had the bjj skills to counter his. Look what happened to him when he fought Matt Hughes when both guys were 170. Now imagine what would have happened to Royce at 185 against someone with an equal skill set.

      To force GSP to fight Silva would be unfair but that’s not going to happen anyway. Now if he wants the fight and Anderson says no, that’s a whole different story. I can’t see any reason other than money for him to take the fight though. The only area he has Anderson in is wrestling and Anderson has proved that he’s well rounded enough to find a way to win against superior wrestlers (ones that have to cut to get to 185).

      If you want to see a size mismatch then watch Sonnen vs. Jones.That should illustrate my point Sonnen is going to get rag dolled and unless you just like seeing Sonnen beat and humiliated just because he’s Sonnen ( and frankly, I do) it’s going to be a lopsided affair.

    • Kris-tyahn

      Silva & GSP fighting wont tell us who the best is, b/c Silva has sooo many advantages b4 the fight even begins. Thats why they have weight classes, the bigger greater fighter will ALWAYS beat the smaller greater fighter, that’s common sense & FACTS. You talking about/comparing Royce fighting bigger guys & beating them, to Silva & GSP?!? Are you really that stupid or you just a Silva nut hugger? Way to compare a BJJ master vs. street fighters with no skill, then say GSP vs. Silva is the “samething”. Wake up dude, Silva & GSP’s skills “even out”, therefore what’s the next thing we look at to decide who has the advantage? Size/weight, Reach & Height, all 3 go in favor of Silva, not to mention Silva wants GSP to gain weight (something he’s never done b4) and fight the Champ. Yet Silva
      fought 3 CANS when he moved up.
      I find it extremely funny Silva is wanting GSP to do something, that Silva himself hasn’t/wouldn’t do, which is move up in weight & fight the Champ. Jesus Silva fights 1 dimensional bums (@ LHW), who ironicaly enough, had absolutely NO WRESTLING. I guess that’s a coincidence right?!?

    • Kris-tyahn

      Again, Silva is the one who wants this fight, so why should GSP be inconvenienced by having to gain weight & possibly no longer fight @ WW, just to fight/appease Silva?!? Silva has said, the reason he wants this fight is b/c GSP is smaller & it’s an easier fight for him. WTF, who even does that, let alone admit to it? I ALWAYS fight smaller guys @ MW, so that’s why I want to fight a “small” WW, b/c it’s not as challenging. If I fight @ LHW, I won’t be guaranteed the height, weight/size & reach advantage, I very much enjoy having b4 any fight begins @ MW. Way to look like a real CHUMP Silva, way to call out the much smaller fighter, the balls on you must be HUGE, I mean calling out a guy who, you will have such an advantage over, is honourable & pure class … WINK WINK!!!

      I wonder what you Silva nut huggers would say if GSP called out Ben Henderson & ONLY wanted to fight him, I’m sure none of you would say GSP is being a bully or that he’s only picking on a much smaller opponent. I’m sure you’d all have the same respect for him, as you all do for Silva, Silva walks around 225-230lbs, while GSP is about 190lbs ….. hmmm seems to me like that is a lot more than just 15-20lbs, it seems more like 35-40lbs. If Silva wants to fight GSP, make 170lbs & then GSP will have no problem fighting you, Silva gets his fight & GSP “evens” the playing field a little bit. Considering it’s Silva who WANTS this fight, It’s up to the him/CHALLENGER to do whatever it is he needs to do to fight GSP, and that is to make 170lbs, not the other way around. BJ challenged GSP & moved up. You don’t challenge someone & ask them to meet you half way, it’s either you do ALL the work, or you move on. You don’t challenge someone & say well, you need to do this & that b/c if not, then I can’t get what I WANT.

      • humpty hump

        Anderson in fighting shape is 202 with more body fat than gsp is when he fought Shields weighing 193 in the cage.

        There isn’t that much difference in weight, certainly not 40 pounds. GSP might actually carry slightly more lean muscle mass.

        If people really want to cry about this fight then just admit that it is because Anderson has WAY MORE SKILL and that he would walk through GSP with ease regardless of what weight the fight is held at and stop pretending it is all about weight.

  • grisscoat

    The UFC is insane/irresponsible to feed St. Pierre to Silva. Attempt to envision Frankie Edgar fighting Nathan Marquardt. Can you even conceive of such a match-up? White is carnival-barking St. Pierre into a no-win situation from which his ego and body will suffer equal damage. White is just not looking out at all for St.Pierre’s interests. It’s such an overt dollar sign power play that one can’t help but think that Don King is back and his spirit is alive and well in the form of Dana White.

    • sams32@yahoo.com

      Wow how disconnected from reality you are lol. Seriously are you high right now. Grow up

      • Grisscoat

        Now come on, even uneducated, Cheetoh-dust fingers like yours can tap out a more interesting comment than that. Really focus this time…

  • vator

    Finally an article not supporting the GSP vs Silva mega mistake match. GSP right now has 4 worthwhile and interesting matches in Nick Diaz, Jonny Hendricks, Nate Marquart and Demian Maia. If GSP can roll through those 4 fights and finish with Maia who will be a common opponent for GSP and Silva then and only then does the match with Silva makes sense. If the UFC makes this match right now it will be the worst decesion they have made ever with matchmaking.

  • Jespitos

    To be honest, I don’t think the fight would sell THAT much PPV’s. UFC has plateaued due to the continuous dilution of card strength. Unless they’ll stack the card with 2-3 additional meaningful fights with top 10 fighters/superstars from the heavier weight classes, I am quite sure it won’t even reach 1m ppvs.

    If they want to break UFC 100 they’d probably have to add Jon Jones and Junior Dos Santos to the card as well.They’d all get injured anyways.

    • Scotty_O

      Hahahahahahahahahahhahah!! Hahahahahahahahahah! Hahahahahaaha!

      No words, only laughter!!

  • dgs

    I agree, this fight makes no sense until each man has cleared out his respective division of deserving challengers. Neither has done that yet.

    Also, if you’re going to mix weight classes, a fight that makes FAR more sense is Silva vs Jones at 205, a weight Silva has no problem with. Jones would probably still be the bigger fighter come fight night, but it would hardly be the weight mismatch St-Pierre vs Silva would be.

    I hope Dana can look past the $$$ and do the right thing for both divisions and for both fighters, and that is not to have them fight now, regardless of the circus show freak fans pushing for the fight.

  • Timothy Malone

    Anyone who thinks this is too big of a weight discrepancy has never watched any heavyweight fight anywhere ever.

    And talk of needing to clear contenders? There will ALWAYS be another contender coming up. Silva is turning 38 next year. It is time to do this. The two best fighters in the world are about to fight. Isn’t that what Ultimate Fighting is all about?

  • mmafighter1000

    All sports are about the money. Newsflash for another so called mma journalist. Does this so calked mma journalist really think somehow this would hurt the ufc future revenue??! I’m sorry I read the article and wasted one minute of my precious time. I thought possibly there was going to be actual news in it. Lol

  • CitizenDino

    THank you. I believe that this is the worst possible part of Dana Whites ego on parade. There are at least 5 guys in GSP division who will not have a title to fight for if GSP decides to move to fight Silva. If the UFC is unwilling to strip GSP then they are just simply relegating an entire weight class to second class citizens. I hope Dana White considers that when he tries to make more money off the back of athletes.

  • Adam Bruss

    GSP vs Anderson would be a disaster.

  • sean smith

    GSP camp paid this writer to post this BS, Why is the mma community so scared for GSP to fight Anderson Silva but turn around and call Anderson Trash…

  • J-Money

    If GSP’s legacy is such a precious thing then why are we discussing it after Matt Serra knocked Georges the F&*K out??..Shouldn’t his legacy already be in question? Of course not.. Randy Couture is the reason I really fell in love with MMA. His record, along with BJ Penn’s is littered with W’s.. If you think either of those guys have anything but “legendary” status in this sport you don’t really grasp the concept of fighting or being a fighter.. Only pony’s like Mayweather and unfortunately Jon Jones think that your record defines your legacy.. BTW Michael Jordan did just fine after his flirt with baseball.. He returned better than ever and won 3 titles in a row to establish his name as the greatest of ALL TIME…

  • http://www.facebook.com/righteous.flames Scott Phoenix

    Always with the size, Sonnen may look smaller than Jones but has a higher walking around weight as he is much thicker than Jones, Silva and Jones true weight is within 10 pounds of each other, GSP and Silva are about 20 pound difference. So yes Silva SHOULD fight Jones but he wont he wants the advantage hence GSP and i think he will get it.

  • http://twitter.com/TinyBrando Eric Lynch

    I hate articles like this. Writers and fans acting like they’re the CEO of the company. An observer/fan’s responsibility is to demand the best fights possible and it’s Zuffa’s job to create new megastars that lead to more “superfights.”

  • pgamma76

    People don’t get it. This is a lose lose fight for Silva with exception to the money. If he wins then he beat the “smaller” guy. If he loses then he “sucks and beat a bunch of cans before. This is a fight for him to finally get a “Boxing” payday because he knows his career is almost over. GSP also presents the toughest challenge because of speed and ability to mix takedowns with punches. Seems so many people forget that GSP stated that, his fight with Fitch I believe, he walked around close to 200lbs. Hardly the “much smaller” man!

    AS could beat GSP JONES WEIDMAN AND BISPING and everyone would say, ” well, he didn’t fight JDS or names to be mentioned later”

    Keep hating everyone

  • Collideoverme

    It’s time Dana quits with the side show fights. That isn’t supposed to be a part of MMA and he swore it wouldn’t be. This fight is pointless. GSP has challengers at 170, as does Silva at 185. Unless both decide to make a move up in weight class, there is no reason for the fight at all.

  • Humpty Hump

    Wow, more people complaining about a fight the MMA community has been looking forward to for years, how creative….

    a few things that should be noted

    1- GSP went to one of Anderson’s fights to do the same exact thing, so people need to let go of the whole Anderson is a big bully calling out GSP crap.

    2- Anderson has fought in that weight class before and fighters go down in weight all the time. (Way more often than going up)

    3- Silva has fought in a weight class 37 pounds higher than the weight class he fought in until he was in his late 20’s, GSP refuses to go up 7.5 pounds and has never gone up while gladly fighting several natural LWs.

    4- If Condit had the sack to defend his pretend belt then GSP vs Hendricks would already have happened (or Hendricks would not be in this conversation)

    feel free to continue complaining now