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Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2012

Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    Anderson Silva got past Stephan Bonnar with ease at UFC 153, and that opens the possibility for a superfight down the line.

    He is the greatest of all time, and a host of interesting matchups await the champion. Perhaps he will stay at 185 pounds and defend his championship, or maybe there are select fights at varying weights he would accept to appease the crowds.

    One such superfight is against Georges St-Pierre.

    GSP will take on Carlos Condit later this year, but if he gets past "The Natural Born Killer," the long anticipated superfight could be on the table.

    How do these two all-time greats stack up to one another? Lets break it down.

Striking

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    GSP is a fantastic striker. His boxing has improved greatly throughout his career, and his technique is top-notch. But he is not Anderson Silva. No one is.

    There is no man in MMA today that would have a striking advantage over Silva. He is the best.

    Accuracy, power, technique, creativity, etc. It's all there. He is the complete package. And his connecting with his target usually signals the end of the fight.

    When talking about Silva and his striking, one begins to run out of superlatives. Just note that he has the advantage over every fighter.

    Edge: Silva

Grappling

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    GSP never wrestled in high school or college, but he has grown to be one of the best takedown artists in MMA today. He has taken down anyone he has wanted to, including top-level wrestlers in the division.

    Silva's takedown defense is underrated, but GSP's style poses an interesting set of problems for Silva. GSP has the ability to explode with a double leg, unlike many others. He has the ability to complete a power double, much like Sonnen did against Silva.

    Silva's takedown defense typically comes from the clinch. He is able to pummel under and use his strength to stay standing. GSP is athletic and strong enough to explode with a shot to get Silva to the mat.

    GSP's wrestling is second to none.

    Edge: GSP

Submissions

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    GSP and Silva are very close in this category. Both fighters have a wide array of submissions, and both fighters can hit them from top or bottom.

    Both GSP and Silva have excellent submission defense as well.

    The ground battle between the two would be very interesting. Especially if GSP is on top. Silva has been able to control his opponent's posture from bottom and stay out of danger, and he has threatened with his own submissions. Could he do the same against GSP?

    Looking at their credentials and watching their fights, I am giving a slight advantage to the middleweight champion.

    Edge: Silva

X-Factor

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    GSP's X-Factor: Avoiding the lethal blow

    The last time GSP was defeated, it was because a heavy-handed opponent, Matt Serra, connected behind the ear. It wobbled GSP, and Serra followed up for the TKO finish.

    If there is one fighter in the world that can pinpoint a shot on the button and shut off GSP's lights, then it is Silva. GSP has to avoid that one fight-ending blow.

    Against Stephan Bonnar and Chael Sonnen, it was a knee to the body that signaled the end. GSP cannot afford to make a mistake on the feet and be caught. It is a tall task.

     

    Silva's X-Factor: Keeping the fight standing

    The one time Silva neared defeat inside the Octagon, it was because he was put on his back and kept there. GSP has the skills to replicate Sonnen's success and pick up the win.

    Silva has excellent jiu-jitsu skills, but there is no need to risk it. Silva simply needs to keep the fight standing.

    If he can prevent GSP from taking him down, the fight becomes one-dimensional. And he owns that dimension.

Prediction

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    This will most likely be a five-round fight. That means GSP has to avoid getting rocked by Silva for 25 minutes. I don't think that's possible.

    GSP's path to victory is small.

    He must take Silva down and not let him up. Silva's submission defense, strength and control on the ground will prevent him from incurring a lot of damage. It will also keep GSP from threatening with submissions. It will take 25 minutes of pinning Silva to the mat.

    Each round starts standing, and at some point Silva is also likely to stop a GSP takedown. That puts GSP in serious danger.

    Silva will figure GSP out in the first round, and then, in the second frame, he will light GSP up for the finish. Silva's power is likely to make Silva the first man to turn out GSP's lights completely in a stunning knockout.

    Prediction: Silva defeats GSP by knockout in the second round.

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