The WW champ will be coming off a year and a half layoff when he next steps into the Octagon. Even for a fighter of GSP's caliber and experience, that is an extremely long period of inactivity, especially considering the fact that he hasn't been able to train in any meaningful way for most of that time. Much speculation as to how the champ will look on his return has filled MMA forums since last fall when he went down with a devastating knee injury. It seems to me that St. Pierre could use a fight to get his Octagon legs back under him, before returning to WW to defend his title. Were he to lose to Carlos Condit in their proposed unification bout tentatively scheduled for late this year, how satisfied would the MMA community be with that result? Obviously it depends on how such a fight played out, but it's a certainty that were St. Pierre to lose, many would cry ring rust with no small amount of justification. Even a devout fan of Condit's, such as myself, would have a hard time finding such a victory completely satisfying, and yet another of the UFC's immediate re-matches would be a likely result. WW contenders would cry foul, fans would lament the stagnancy in the division, much as we have for the Penn/Edgar, Edgar/Maynard and now Edgar/Henderson sets of fights. The solution, give Georges the Anderson Silva fight next, as a tune-up fight.
First of all, because there may not be a "later". If Georges wants to cash in on this superfight, he may not be able to wait for it much longer as we don't know how much longer Anderson will be fighting. Secondly, in the interim, either one could lose, taking some of the luster off of the clash of the sport's two long reigning title-holders. In my opinion, the timing has never been better, and with Anderson holding out for a big money match, I think Georges' himself would be best served to take this opportunity, and let Carlos Condit finally defend the interim belt against someone like Hendricks or possibly Kampmann, with the winner getting GSP in his return to the WW division. To my mind, this is to Georges' own best interest as well.
Okay, the concept of fighting MMA's greatest champion, with a decent weight disadvantage, may sound like a sadistic idea, but hear me out. This fight will probably never happen otherwise. Anderson wants it, the fans want it, and the UFC's coffers certainly want it. It's a fantastic opportunity to pull new eyes to our beloved sports. And it avoids the debate over a rematch were GSP to lose to Silva rather than to Condit. Let's face it, even if Anderson were to beat Georges when GSP is healthy and has a few more fights under his belt, it'll always be inconclusive. Anderson outweighs him by 20lbs or more, and such a fight, while fun, would never be without controversy. Unless, GSP were to do the unthinkable, and return from a serious injury, with no tune-up fight, and dethrone the Spider in front of millions of eyes around the world. A victory like that would take Georges to a whole new level, and make his return to WW even bigger than it otherwise would be. Meanwhile Condit and the top WW's could get moving again and sort this out amongst themselves until GSP returns to reclaim his rightful spot atop the division, and with no ring-rust argument in his back pocket to taint his WW return should he lose.
So what do you think Knights of the Bloody Elbow? I see little downside for Georges in this. Sure he'd like to challenge Anderson with a few fights under his belt, but that seems less and less likely as the Spider's career winds down. He returns, makes a bloody fortune win or lose, and his reputation can't really take much of a hit either way. Anderson's could, but since he wants to fight superstars, he'd deserve to lose some GOAT points were he to be beaten by the smaller man after such a long layoff for him.