The will-he-or-won’t-he drama surrounding Anderson Silva continued on Thursday.
Will he come into the octagon to challenge Georges St-Pierre on Saturday? Is he just there to watch a fight and enjoy some downtime after his own most recent victory? Will any of it even matter?
UFC President Dana White on Thursday added a little more fuel to the fire – and for the first time gave a clue as to when such a pound-for-pound superfight might take place.
White, on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” before flying to Montreal for Saturday’s UFC 154 pay-per-view, said a St-Pierre victory on Saturday will lead to a fight against Silva, and that the two likely would fight in May.
“Anderson Silva will be there this Saturday watching, and if (St-Pierre) wins it’ll be a huge fight for us,” White said. “It’ll probably be the biggest fight in UFC history. It’ll definitely be the biggest gate. We’ve done (55,000) up in Toronto with Georges before. We’ve had big gates pretty much everywhere we’ve gone, but this one would be either a soccer stadium down in Brazil, Dallas’ Texas Stadium, or we’d do Toronto again.”
St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) meets Carlos Condit (28-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in UFC 154′s main event in a welterweight title unification bout. It’s his first fight after a 19-month layoff, during which time Condit became the interim champion. St-Pierre is better than a 3-to-1 favorite in the fight.
Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) recently said he would be in Montreal for the fight, which led to instant speculation that he would be brought into the octagon following a possible St-Pierre win.
On a media conference call for UFC 154, White said he expected Silva to enter the cage for the challenge. St-Pierre, of course, said he didn’t care – that he was focused on Condit. And Silva later said don’t count on that happening – that callouts aren’t his style.
But White said that could just be Silva being a good actor.
“He said he wouldn’t fight Chael Sonnen again either, but he did,” White said. “He always comes out and says this stuff. I don’t know why he does it or why he says the things he says. I guarantee you, he will be there Saturday. If Georges St-Pierre wins, those two will fight and it’ll probably be in May.”
As for the possible venue, White continued to name the three major candidates – Toronto’s Rogers Centre, site of UFC 129 and the largest gate and attendance in UFC history; a Brazilian soccer stadium, which the company hoped to do this past summer before plans fell through; or Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
Could the UFC sell out the more than 100,000-seat stadium? White isn’t sure, but he thinks a Silva-GSP fight might not be too bad there.
“We’re curious to see what we could do,” he said. “We’ve been wanting to bring a fight there for a long time. This fight would be the fight to do it. Hopefully we’d sell it out.”
For now, that same curiosity for everyone will have to wait a couple days to see just what happens between St-Pierre and Condit, and then just what happens after the fight.