Just a few days ago, UFC president Dana White made reference to Georges St-Pierre’s next fight, rekindling talk about superfights by saying that if his UFC welterweight champion wanted to fight middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, he was all for it.
That, of course, would mean that 170-pound No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks would again take a back seat.
But, as White said, it’s all conjecture until the involved parties start talking with UFC brass and a couple more fights play out. Anderson Silva is slated to fight Chris Weidman this summer, and a third party in the equation, Jon Jones, faces Chael Sonnen this weekend.
Thus far, White hasn’t caught up with St-Pierre, who indicated in a recent Joe Rogan Experience podcast that he seems content to stay at 170 pounds, at least in the near term.
“I need to do stuff in my division before I take (a superfight) because it has moved now,” said St-Pierre.
That’s not something that bothers White, who said St-Pierre vs. Hendricks is going to happen, conceding that St-Pierre may not be ready for a superfight.
“If he doesn’t want to do a superfight, nobody is going to pressure him to do a superfight. That’s up to him,” said White on Thursday. “But Johny Hendricks is next, and soon. Maybe in August (at the Fox Sports 1 launch in Boston).”
White hasn’t shifted his thoughts away from a superfight though. When asked which superfight he would like to see out of the St-Pierre, Silva, and Jones trio, his Canadian superstar wasn’t a part of his top choice.
“If (Jones) wins and Anderson Silva wins, I really want to see Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones,” admitted White. “That’s the fight I want to see. I’d like to see it in Madison Square Garden.”
Silva has been the one constant in the equation, and the one fighter that has been consistently pushing for the biggest fights possible.
While St-Pierre wants big fights, he seems content to continue at 170 pounds for now, while Jones recently warmed to the idea of fighting outside of his usual 205-pound title defenses, entertaining superfights or heavyweight bouts.
“This fight with Chael, it ties me with Tito Ortiz (for most UFC light heavyweight title defenses),” said Jones, assuming he beats Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 on Saturday.
“One thing I’ve been contemplating is first tying Tito Ortiz, and then establishing that record of the most (light heavyweight title defense) wins in my next fight, maybe in November, and after that fight in November, entertaining superfights and heavyweight fights.”
White could make things interesting. If Jones defeats Sonnen, as most people expect to happen, who says Jones’ next light heavyweight title defense – the record-setting opportunity – isn’t also a superfight with Anderson Silva?
The UFC – if Silva is willing to go all the way up to 205 pounds, which he has done before – could try to put the two together with Jones’ belt on the line.
And although White recently put a damper on his hopes for MMA opening up in New York this year, if things change and New York does sanction the sport… and if Silva defeats Chris Weidman in July… what bigger fight could the UFC put together for its 20th Anniversary at Madison Square Garden?