Is it really "criminal" to expect pound-for-pound Anderson Silva to drop from 185 to 170 pounds for a superfight with Georges St-Pierre?
According to his conditioning coach, it's practically highway robbery.
In an interview with Fighters Only Magazine, Silva's personal conditioning coach said that while the middleweight champion could make the weight cut, it would leave him depleted enough that GSP would have an extremely unfair advantage:
It would be a crime for Anderson to try and fight at 77kg. He could maybe make the weight but the physical loss that he would suffer would be too much.
We have to respect St. Pierre, who besides being a great fighter is a monster physically. The Canadian would get a considerable conditioning advantage if they fought at welterweight division limits.
St-Pierre is known for pushing his opponents into grueling five-round fights, often drowning them under a steady assault of strong strikes mixed with unstoppable takedowns. In his last seven title defenses, GSP has dominated 34 rounds (roughly 170 minutes) of action in the Octagon with only BJ Penn getting stopped early.
By contrast, Silva has only gone the distance twice in his last seven fights—both times nearly losing on points to Demian Maia and Chael Sonnen.
If cardio proved to be the difference, that would make sense—St-Pierre has only fought at 170 pounds his entire career while Silva has floated between 185 and 205 pounds during the last few years.
Regardless, both GSP and trainer Firas Zahabi have both openly stated that the welterweight limit is the only realistic place where they're willing to let the fight happen, claiming that it's actually very fair if the larger Silva is significantly "weakened" by a significant weight cut.