Saturday, 7 January 2012

5 reasons why Anderson Silva vs GSP makes perfect sense

Post UFC 134 , the much anticipated super fight between Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Georges “Rush” St-Pierre has once more become a popular topic of conversation. The powers that be in the UFC have even let slip that they are considering it. While there are always flip sides to any decision taken, here are 5 reasons why the UFC should schedule Silva versus GSP.

Lack of other prospective fights
Anderson Silva has so thoroughly dominated the UFC Middleweight division, that the only contenders left for him are fighters he has already bested. Sure I would watch Silva – Sonnen 2, or even Silva – Henderson 2, but they lack the appeal of a major title fight. If Silva wins, it’s more of the same, and there is very little to suggest that he wouldn’t do just that.

Concurrently, GSP has cleaned out the UFC Welterweight division, forcing the UFC to bring in opponents from other organisations as lambs to the slaughter. Should GSP defeat Diaz at UFC 137, he too will be drawing his future opponents from his list of recently defeated foes.

Both fighters have got the UFC marketers working overtime to create a belief that they are fallible, especially when the opponents set in front of them have already been toppled under their regime. This does not make for blockbuster events.

Stylistically the fight makes sense
The fighters have the perfect styles to keep the result up in the air. While both men are complete, well-rounded mixed martial artists, they have strengths in different areas. Will GSP be able to use his superior wrestling to take Silva out of his element? Will Silva’s crazy striking overcome GSP’s methodical approach? The questions are endless, and leading up to a title fight, questions are good. They create interest, they create hype and ultimately, they put bums in seats.

Improved fighter marketability
A big concern has always been whether the UFC is sacrificing a champion by taking this fight. Will the loser yield his marketability? I do not think so. Assuming GSP moves up in weight to fight, let’s look at the possible outcomes.

GSP defeats Silva to become Middleweight Champion
Fantastic, we now have a new Middleweight champion, who can prove himself against a whole hoard of challengers in the middleweight division, enter Sonnen, Henderson, Maia, Okami... and every other fighter Silva has defeated. Silva, who is nearing the end of his career, has the option to take on the rematch fights afforded to him already (Sonnen / Hendo) or to move up and campaign for the Light Heavyweight title, opening up a huge array of fights in a division he has shown some comfort in already. 

Silva defeats GSP to retain his Middleweight crown
With Silva’s legacy intact, this opens up possibilities for yet another super fight with Light heavyweight Kingpin Jon “Bones” Jones, or whoever else the champion may be at the time. Bearing in mind that Silva has always said he aims to retire soon, getting two super fights out of the legend would be well worth the UFC’s time, and a great send off for one of the sports finest. GSP would have the option to stay at Middleweight and campaign against all the previously mentioned fighters, or to drop back down to welterweight, having been shown to be human. This will make his fights more marketable than his current legacy does. 

Regardless of the result, the loser is afforded the rare chance of a comeback, and both being likeable, respected athletes, the fans will rally behind their fallen champion. There is also always the possibility of a rematch.

Promotes the UFC Brand
Boxing has often come under fire for not pitting prime fighters against each other in fights that the public demands, most recently with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquaio. The UFC has always been perceived as an organisation which gives the public the fights they want, pitting the best fighters against each other wherever possible. A well timed super fight, could attract many fight fans which boxing has failed to impress of late, thus promoting the UFC and MMA, and solidifying the sport in the hearts of fans around the globe.

The sheer spectacle
The UFC has taken some giant leaps of late, firstly setting attendance records with UFC 129 in Toronto and more recently enjoying huge success at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro . This fight, however, has the ability to obliterate all records, not only by allowing the world’s best to square off against each other, but coincidentally two fanatical MMA nations as well. The list of possibilities are endless, and done properly, this could be one of the greatest sporting events in history.


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