In a hypothetical fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva (32-4 MMA, 15-0 UFC), it sounds like welterweight titleholder Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) might has well don a singlet to the cage because he’s going to be 100 percent grappler.
“Chael (Sonnen) and all these other good wrestlers are able to get [Silva] down to the ground,” White said Tuesday in a MetroPCS fan chat. “Georges St-Pierre will definitely take him down.”
It’s not that UFC President Dana White won’t give St-Pierre credit for all that he’s accomplished in the striking game. It’s just that if he fights Silva, that’s what’s going to happen.
That’s what has to happen. But what transpires from there – in the fight that’s not confirmed but seems to be on the tip of every fan’s tongue – does not bode well for St-Pierre, the way White sees it. Then again, it doesn’t bode well for just about anyone who has the misfortune of being across the cage from Silva. Certainly not the middleweights who reside in the same division.
“It doesn’t look like it,” White said when asked if there are any current fighters in the 185-pound division to dethrone Silva. “The guy is so talented, I think he’s the greatest of all-time, and he keeps proving it again and again.”
So when it comes to St-Pierre, whose signature strength is putting opponents on their back, White seems to think that a long-running pound-for-pound debate will be settled with Silva on top, where he currently resides on most lists.
“Usually in the second round when [Silva] comes out, he makes sure he doesn’t get taken down again,” White said. “He usually lights guys up in the second round.”
White, of course, has a recent example on his mind. The Sonnen he mentioned quickly took down Silva at UFC 148, just as he did when they first met at UFC 117. For the first five minutes, it looked like the much-publicized rib injury that Silva suffered in the initial meeting might be relegated to the same list of fictional fighter hurts as Tito Ortiz’s cracked skull. But before the second round could end, Sonnen was in a heap in a corner of the cage, and Silva was still champ.
The reality is that a St-Pierre vs. Silva superfight, which has been talked about for no less than three years and put off for a myriad of reasons, could be closer than ever. If St-Pierre beats interim champ Carlos Condit at UFC 154, fewer obstacles than ever remain to the long-awaited meeting.
“That’s the fight they both want,” White said of the champions.
That’s a reversal of earlier interviews in which St-Pierre did not seem anxious to take the superfight. (A welterweight or catchweight meeting that doesn’t threaten his title undoubtedly sweetens things for the returning champ.)
But just as before, there are plenty of reasons the fight won’t happen: injuries, layoffs, stipulations, money – all the usual things.
If it does happen, though, White said the best fighter in the world will be crowned. He’s made his pick.
“There’s been an argument for a long time, whether it was Georges or Anderson,” he said. “So we’ll find out.”