The dream is over or so it would seem. UFC executives had hoped to sign up Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre for a "super fight" against Middleweight champ Anderson Silva but it appears that GSP isn't interested in that bout at the moment.
FUEL TV correspondent Ariel Helwani spoke to Silva's manager, Jorge Guimaraeson, and reported on it on Tuesday's edition of UFC Tonight (transcribed by MMA Mania):
"[Silva's] manager doesn't think the GSP super fight will happen right now, but they'd love for it to happen at some point. I brought up the possibility of fighting Michael Bisping if he wins against Vitor Belfort. And Jorge told me they'd love that fight, but he said he didn't think Bisping has a good shot against Vitor Belfort. So they think Anderson will be back fighting in the summertime, but they're not sure who he will fight then."
Bisping is set to face Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping on January 19, 2013 at Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Belfort had his title shot against Silva at UFC 126 and was the victim of a spectacular front-kick KO.
For his part, Bisping spoke to Fuel TV last summer (via MMA Mania) about fighting Silva:
"I want to fight the guy because I want to see how I can do against him. I've beaten a lot of guys, but I want to fight that guy. I want to see -- I think I can do better. And I'm never going to know that until I get in there with him. Yes, I want to fight him. Yes, I want to get paid for a title shot, I want the main event, I want all that. But for me personally, for my mind and soul, I want to fight the guy to know how I would do."
Bisping also handicapped his chances against Belfort in an interview for MMA Fighting:
"Far be it from me to look past Vitor. I'm trying to make this fight more significant. I'm concerned that I've got my hands full. It's not going to be easy. We're fighting in Brazil. He hits hard. But I think I'll weather the storm and he'll become a punching bag.
"It's well documented, rightly or wrongly, that Vitor gasses quickly. He does slow down after the first round. Obviously, early for me is going to be the most dangerous. The longer the fight goes, he'll start turning into a walking punching bag. At least that's the plan. It's easier said than done. He's going to come out hard and fast, and he will be dangerous. He's a big middleweight. He's been a heavyweight (tournament) champion, and was a light heavyweight champion back in the day. But these are the kind of fights I'm going to take if I want to back up my talking."
If Bisping does beat Belfort a number of exciting possibilities open up for the UFC -- possibly a stadium show in Brazil featuring Silva vs. Bisping or even a major arena in Bisping's native Britain, an event which has a small chance of re-igniting interest in MMA in that country.