The blood hadn't even dried on the Octagon mat following Georges St. Pierre's brutal war with Carlos Condit in the UFC 154 Welterweight title unification bout when the press, UFC president Dana White, and Middleweight champion Anderson Silva all began talking about a potential "super fight" between GSP and Anderson Silva.
GSP wasn't exactly thrilled with the focus on a possible Silva fight going into his UFC 154 bout with Condit.
"I think what pissed me off a little bit was that I hadn't even come back yet. I was fighting Carlos Condit and everybody was asking me about Anderson Silva. I think it was disrespectful to me and disrespectful to my opponent. I think you should give more credit to the challengers I have. They are the best in the world, and I need to focus on my opponent and not focus on the next step," GSP said at last night's post-fight press conference.
Following the bout, GSP was non-committal at best.
"Right now, I just finished my fight, and the same answer, I'm going to say. I need to recompose and think about it. I got hit a lot on the head. I need a break. The thing is, we fight at 177 and I show up at 185. He's maybe 205, 210. I don't know how big he is, maybe he's even 225, 230. He's a big guy," GSP said post-fight.
Dana wasn't letting that stop him though.
"It's the No. 1 best pound-for-pound fighter in the world against the No. 2 best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It's a big fight. We think people want to see it, and we think the guys want to do it, so we'll do it. They will fight, and it will probably be in May or around May.
"[St. Pierre] is lumped up. He's sore. He feels like he just got hit by a bus, I'm sure. He hasn't fought in 18 months. I'll make this fight. We're going to sit down with Anderson, probably in the next two weeks, and I'm sure we're going to sit down and talk to St. Pierre and his team, too. Who knows? Maybe we go into this thing, and St. Pierre says, ‘Absolutely not,' but I just don't see that happening," Dana said in an interview with Fox Sports.
At the post-fight media scrum Dana said the fight would be held in a stadium, possibly in Brazil, Canada, or Dallas, Texas. White seems to be leaning toward Dallas as it is "neutral territory" and he is attracted to the idea of selling 100,000 tickets to the fight.
He doesn't seem daunted by the looming negotiations to put the fight together.
"The thing is that all of the stuff that needs to be done behind the scenes is what we do, it's what we do, this is the business that we're in. We'll get all that done, it's just the matter of sitting down and seeing what's right for everybody.
I want Anderson Silva to love this fight and want it. I want Georges to love this fight and want it, cuz they're both gonna make a sh**load of money, that's a no-brainer. I want them to want it for the right reasons. This is more of a legacy fight. This is the pound-for-pound fight," White told Bleacher Report at the post-fight media scrum.
But White isn't dead set on GSP vs Silva in May. He openly told the press that it's possible that GSP will defend his Welterweight title once before the Super Fight. That's surely happy news for Welterweight contenders Johny Hendricks and Nick Diaz, both of whom believe they should get the next shot at GSP.
For his part, the mercurial Anderson Silva is sounding more interested than usual but he's already given himself plenty of negotiating room by talking about his desire to take off most of 2013.
"Georges St-Pierre for my next fight? Maybe. Jon Jones? No. This is not real. But this is not my decision. It's Dana's decision. I'm here for fight. I work for UFC," he told assembled media after the fight.
Now we turn to the question of whether or not the bout is a good idea. Jonathan Snowden thinks the fight would be a mistake for GSP and everyone really:
This potential superfight, as big a money maker as it may be for White and both fighters, crystallizes exactly why weight classes exist in the first place. Unfortunately, size more than skill will tell the tale if GSP and Silva meet in the Octagon. St-Pierre understands that keenly, and it explains his hesitation.
The two men are, without exception, the greatest MMA fighters of all time. And as much as I'd love to see them test their mettle against each other, it's simply not a fair fight. Anderson Silva, in my opinion, needs to pick on someone his own size.
Mike Chiappetta at MMA Fighting had some thoughts and made a strong case for why GSP should accept the bout:
...accepting the match would rub off some of the criticism of St-Pierre as a calculated and risk-averse athlete. His performance against Condit certainly lent itself to that change. Agreeing to the fight with Silva might erase it forever.
Moreover, a win would almost certainly leap frog him over Silva in the pound-for-pound greatest of all time debates. There's no question that whoever puts an end to Silva's invincible air will benefit from that in any historical argument. With St-Pierre's status as the matchup's smaller man, well, it's almost doubly impressive.
After 19 months away, St-Pierre returned with fire and gusto, and a smile on his face, saying he had fun again. Earlier this week, his jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher said that in the gym, he saw a young, fresh-faced kid instead of a weary champion who was only worried about keeping his belt. St-Pierre convinced himself that he was chasing Condit and not the other way around. The challenge fueled him.
Against Silva, he wouldn't have to pretend he was an underdog; he actually would be one. After he gets his upcoming days of rest, perhaps he'll see that there's no greater puzzle than the one Silva provides. Yes, the size differential is daunting, but the greatest reward requires the greatest risk. No matter what, the Quebecois is going to face a worthy adversary, and he owes us nothing, but if he wants to chase the ultimate challenge, St-Pierre vs. Silva is not just the fight for now, it is a fight for all time.
I have to come down on the side of Chiappetta here. Promoters like Dana White have an obligation to put together the biggest possible fights. In 15 years when fans look back on this era and judge White's contribution to the sport they will remember the super fights that were booked and also the ones that got away.
While Johny Hendricks and Nick Diaz may deserve title shots, no one will remember if a couple of deserving contenders were put on hold for a few months while the champ fought in the biggest fight in UFC and MMA history. Do it Dana, make it happen.