Ten days ago saw the return of Georges St. Pierre to the octagon against a very game Carlos Condit. While Condit put forth a very admirable effort, GSP was once again victorious, in very dominant fashion. Now the continuing hot topic of conversation is a super fight between Georges and middleweight champion, Anderson Silva. St. Pierre has stated that if the fight happens, he wants it at 170. Silva's camp has yet to respond on that count, however, there were past reports that a catch weight could be made at 178.
The Gracie breakdowns have become a staple with most fans on the intricacies of fights, past and future, so I thought it would be fun to get Rener Gracie to give our readers his take on how this fight would go. His vast knowledge is always appreciated, and gives one a deeper understanding of the ground aspect of the fight game. He also broke down each man's strengths in straight jiu jitsu. Here's what he had to say:
GSP vs. Anderson Silva
It's a really tough call. Anderson Silva is such a big guy. He fights at 185, but he walks around at like 215-220, or even more. He's a tall, strong guy. I know GSP walks around about 20 pounds heavier, around the 190 area, but still, it would have to be at a catch weight, whatever they agree on. It doesn't change the fact that Anderson is still such a naturally bigger person, and that's going to have a huge effect, I think. The last time these type of differentials were seen in the UFC was when there were no weight classes. In that regard, I think Anderson will have the advantage.
I think if GSP has any chance, it's to fight the way he fought Condit, which is not too much exchanging, standing up, other than using the jab to gauge the distance, close the distance, and put Anderson on his back. He would need to basically do what Chael Sonnen did the first time he fought Anderson. If Georges fights like that, with takedowns as good as his are, I don't see why he wouldn't be able to do that. I think GSP's submission counters are better than Chael's, and his endurance is second to none, as well. His ability to get Anderson down, and at least neutralize the submissions and attack from the guard is very likely.
You have to take into consideration that Anderson is a black belt also, and his ground game is nothing to be messed with. He showed his ability in the second fight with Chael, to be on his back, and not take any damage, which was just as amazing as submitting him the first time they fought. Striking in a fight all boils down to distance management. Whoever manages the distance more effectively, manages the amount of damage that can be done. When Anderson is standing with an opponent, the reason he is so good, is because he effectively stays out of range. You can't hit him, but when he does put himself within range, he hits you.
As effective as he is at managing that distance on the feet, when the fight hits the ground, he is equally effective at preventing the striking distances from taking place, not by distance, but by closeness. He'll hold himself so close, you never really have the angle to do serious damage. It's a basic, punch protection principle in jiu jitsu, and he does it as good as anybody out there. If he gets taken down, his ability to weather the storm, and not take too much damage is very high, and then it just boils down to if he can get back to his feet, but he'll definitely get that chance at the start of each round. With Anderson, you can also never count out the shocking kick to the head or jab knockouts. It's all possible with this guy. It's a tough call, but I would say that just the weight and size difference, organically gives Anderson the advantage, but if GSP does what he does with everybody else, who knows.
Who has the better jiu jitsu
GSP is better when it comes to takedowns, positional control and guard passing. Anderson is better than GSP when it comes to guard survival defense, submissions and distance management for punch protection. I would say GSP's top jiu jitsu is better, and Anderson's bottom jiu jitsu is better. It's all about categories.