Anderson Silva's kryptonite is the standout wrestler, which has been evinced most notably by the two encounters he’s had with Chael Sonnen. With that in mind, Georges St-Pierre is probably the most well-rounded fighter in mixed martial arts today and his wrestling is up there with the best of them, but with all his attributes he can’t finish what Sonnen started.
At UFC 148, Silva survived a torrid opening stanza, but then went on to blitz Sonnen in the second frame to record a 10th successive title defense.
UFC 117 saw “The Spider” subjected to the worst beating since his four-year tenure in the Zuffa-based promotion—Sonnen employed his supreme wrestling ability to the fullest—taking him to ground at will. Still, it wasn’t enough to secure victory as he found to his cost.
The rematch was going the same way, but in the second round Silva stuffed several of Sonnen’s takedowns. Eureka! Silva had learned from the first fight—he’d been working on his takedown defense.
If that’s the case, where would St-Pierre succeed in toppling Silva?
Even if he could take the fight to the mat, Silva has shown on numerous occasions he can survive whatever onslaught comes his way—submissions and/or ground-and-pound attacks. Ask Sonnen and his mentor Dan Henderson. Both were the recipients of well-timed submissions.
The last time St-Pierre executed a successful submission was way back in 2007, when he submitted Matt Hughes via armbar.
Furthermore, his last real stoppage (B.J. Penn not included) was his rematch with Matt Serra in 2008.
With that in mind, Silva has that aspect covered.
A stand-and-bang affair will no doubt favor Silva as he’s one of MMA’s most prolific strikers.
But more importantly, Silva has never been stopped in the entirety of his career, rocked maybe, but never stopped, whereas St-Pierre has courtesy of Serra.
That said, St-Pierre has the requisite skill set in his arsenal and the heart to boot to contest with any fighter in his welterweight class as well as the middleweight division.
However, that will not avail him if he were ever to tussle with Silva at either 185 pounds or at catchweight—St-Pierre can’t and won’t finish what Sonnen started, though he will be finished himself.