What’s next for Anderson Silva? He’s got options, but there’s one his longtime manager thinks is best.
Ed Soares believes it may be time to settle the long-running discussion of who the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world is – UFC middleweight champion Silva or welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.
In a Monday interview with “Inside MMA” on AXS TV, Soares said he’d like to see a Silva vs. St-Pierre superfight as his client’s next fight.
“At the end of the day, GSP is the greatest welterweight of all time,” Soares said. “People argue back and forth who the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world is. Some people say it’s Anderson, some people say it’s Georges St-Pierre. So I think the way to settle it is to do a catch weight at 177 1/2, right down the middle, and see what happens.
“I think it’ll be a fight that the fans want to see and it’ll be a great fight.”
Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) is coming off a first-round TKO win over Stephan Bonnar in a light heavyweight fight in the main event of UFC 153 earlier this month. The win kept him unbeaten in the UFC and was his third first-round knockout in fights at 205 pounds.
St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) is getting ready to come back from a 19-month layoff. He returns next month in a title unification fight against interim champ Carlos Condit (28-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at UFC 154 in front of his home fans in Montreal.
If St-Pierre gets past Condit – he is a better than 3-to-1 favorite with oddsmakers – there has been widespread speculation that the UFC would try to make a fight between the two most dominant champions in the company and two of its biggest pay-per-view draws.
In fact, UFC President Dana White believes such a fight would be perfect for Cowboys Stadium in Dallas – where the promotion would have the potential to break its own North American attendance record of 55,000, which it set the last time St-Pierre fought at UFC 129 at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
But White also has another potential mega-fight in mind for Silva at some point, and that is against light heavyweight champ Jon Jones. Really, though, there is little doubt that White and the UFC would be just fine with either option.
“There are so many options for him right now,” White said after UFC 153. “He never ceases to amaze. And like he says, there’s a lot of talented guys now in that 185-pound division. But as he says, he’s at this point in his career where there are some superfights there. The Georges St-Pierre fight is a big fight. I think the Jon Jones fight is a big fight.”
An arm injury suffered in his win over Vitor Belfort will keep Jones idle until April, when he’ll defend his title against Chael Sonnen after the two coach opposite each other on Season 17 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” So that would appear to put a Silva-Jones fight more on the back burner than a possible Silva-GSP bout.
Waiting in the wings, potentially, for St-Pierre is the winner of the UFC 154 co-main event between Martin Kampmann and Johny Hendricks. For Silva, the options are greater. Michael Bisping remains a long-discussed candidate for a title shot, as does the winner of an upcoming fight between Chris Weidman and Tim Boetsch at UFC 155.
But it sounds like Soares is hoping for a St-Pierre win over Condit, and then a fight with Silva.
“Who knows what’s next. Maybe after (a possible fight with St-Pierre), who knows. A possibility it could be (Jon Jones), or maybe even Bisping,” Soares said. “There are so many different fighters out there that could potentially be big fights.”