Poor Jake Shields. Weeks away from the biggest fight of his life and all the media and fan base can talk about is the opponent GSP is not fighting at The Rogers Center. And who can blame us, both fans and media. Dana White has said if GSP beats Jake then we have to start talking about the Superfight between Anderson and GSP. GSP is so dominant that no one is going to pick Shields to beat him, except as an outlier pick. So, we have all begun to look past this fight and salivate for the fight on the horizon. Not so fast, GSP is saying. There is a lot of risk and work for him to step up and take on the Spider and he isn't sure if that's where he wants to go with his career right now. He is well within his rights to do so. He can go down as the greatest welterweight of all time. But, he will have to relinquish any claim to being the greatest of all time. That moniker will belong to Anderson Silva.
Anderson Silva has made a career of taking on all comers. Not only has he taken on all comers, he is relentless in his pursuit of finishing his opponents. Only seven of his 32 career fights have made the judges go to work and have to render a decision. He has dominated the middleweight division, taken fights at light heavyweight, and now is open to fighting GSP. If GSP says no I could easily see Anderson going the other way and taking a Superfight against Rua or Jones in the future. Yes, we have watched the mental meltdown fights, like Maia, and they will always stand as a mark on his career. Aside from those, the man never wants to leave the fight in the judges hands. He also is undefeated in the Octagon, something that sets him above everyone. Today, he is the cream of the crop, the best this sport has to offer.
GSP has had an incredible career. We have watched a master technician flourish before our eyes. He has a relentless commitment to excellence and never stops trying to learn more about the sport he is a leader in. He demonstrates both confidence and humility; a true ambassador for the sport. His skill level has put him so far above anyone in his weight class that he can simply apply his dominant technique and be assured a judge's decision.
That is who GSP is today as a fighter. The best his division has ever seen. He has found a comfort zone where it is almost impossible to defeat him. Jake Shields will try and he will fail, almost certainly by decision. How many of us really believe that GSP will finish Shields? There really is nothing wrong with that kind of fighting style either. They key is to win every time you enter the cage and GSP can do that without going for the finish. GSP can continue to remain dominant, be an instant PPV draw and one of the sport's greatest models as the UFC expands around the globe. It's a huge risk for him to take on the bigger, multifaceted Anderson Silva. Maybe too big. But, without stepping outside his comfort zone he can never be considered the sport's greatest fighter. He will battle for the number two spot with fighters from the past like Fedor and who knows what the future holds for Cain Velasquez or Jon Jones. The top spot will always be out of his grasp. I'm sure that will weigh heavily on his decision whether or not to fight the Spider. If he does turn down this Superfight, we all desperately want to see, then he knows he turns down the highest mantle of Greatest of All Time.