At the top of the mountain in the UFC, there stand two men far above the rest. Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre have changed the sport of mixed martial arts forever. They helped to usher in an era of dominance in the middleweight and welterweight divisions, respectively.
The question then arises, who would win?
The two fighters are very different stylistically, but are very similar in how convincingly they often win. When you look at the highlights and the lowlights, as well as the matchup on paper, there is not much of a competition.
Silva would clearly defeat GSP if the match were to take place, and here’s why.
Silva closes out a victory against Forrest Griffin
It is no secret that Silva is an incredible finisher. Once he lands just one solid shot, he decisively picks apart his opponent in impressive fashion.
Especially highlighted in his second fight against Chael Sonnen, Silva’s ability to finish fights is second to none. GSP has proven time and time again that he is as resilient as it gets, but he’s never fought someone like Silva. GSP is one of the most athletic human beings in the world, but it won't be enough against The Spider.
Between his striking ability and his jiu-jitsu training, Silva is one of the most dangerous finishers in the UFC. Silva is truly a threat to knock his opponent out at any time.
Silva eludes a potential takedown attempt
Silva, being the bigger fighter, obviously holds an advantage over GSP. GSP has struggled in the past with guys bigger than he is. Silva would likely be too big of a presence for GSP to handle. Silva is two inches taller and 15-20 pounds heavier than St-Pierre and also has a three-inch reach advantage.
Silva can easily control the fight from the outside with his reach advantage—something that GSP has struggled against in the past. The Spider’s size advantage should be particularly evident in the clinch game as well as on the ground.
While GSP fights like a bigger man than he is, he will struggle to gain control while grappling against the bigger Silva, and Silva will capitalize.
Silva throws a powerful head kick
What sets Silva part from most fighters in the world is his unorthodox style. From elbows to flying knees, we’ve seen a lot from The Spider. His unpredictable striking makes him a nightmare for his opponents.
More than the techniques themselves, the way he throws kicks and punches is unique. Silva can seamlessly throw strike after strike from any position with incredible fluidity. Similar to fellow UFC fighter Jon Jones, Silva has won many fights through his unique style of fighting.
GSP has never fought anyone as unique as Silva and will likely struggle as most do.
In the time it will take GSP to adjust to Silva’s timing and striking, the Spider will likely have taken control of the match and will be laying into St. Pierre.
Although St. Pierre hasn’t lost since 2007, he has shown a slight decline in production. While St. Pierre is surely better than most fighters in the world, he hasn’t finished a fight since 2009.
In GSP’s latest victory against Condit, he took a beating like we’ve never seen him take before. Certainly Condit is one of the UFC’s best, but he is no Anderson Silva. With an impending match against Nick Diaz on the horizon for St-Pierre, he will have another opportunity to prove that he is still a finishing fighter, but I wouldn’t expect it. Diaz has never been submitted and has only been knocked out twice. GSP will have his hands full against a gritty fighter like Diaz.
Despite whether he wins or loses to Diaz, if GSP struggles vs. the California native, then there is little doubt that he will be handled by Silva.
Silva readies himself for an intense fight
It is not often that we see the champion have to fight his way back from being down, but when he has to, he certainly impresses. The fight that immediately comes to mind is the hellacious five-round fight he had with Chael Sonnen in their first meeting.
Sonnen was in control for the great majority of the fight, but Silva remained calm and survived each round, even while getting brutalized by Sonnen. With just under two minutes left in the fight, Silva slipped in a triangle choke from the bottom and submitted Sonnen.
At the time, Sonnen was the No. 1 contender and was also using PEDs, for which he was later suspended. Silva’s ability to remain calm and collected while getting beat on so intensely is something we don’t see everyday.
The champion is for real.
Silva enjoys another win as champion
Silva is much more well-equipped experience-wise. While GSP fights in the welterweight division, Silva used to jump between the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions before settling down as a middleweight.
Silva has dominated men that are bigger than he is with tremendous ease, and you have to think that he would do the same against GSP.
The last time we saw St-Pierre lose was when he was knocked out by Matt Serra. Serra is much smaller in comparison to Silva and is also not the fighter he is. While some called it a “fluke” between GSP and Serra, a TKO is a TKO.
GSP is extremely good at being able to pull out a victory when he’s down in a fight. The only problem with that is that if he gives Silva the same openings that he’s given these other guys like Josh Koscheck and Dan Hardy, Silva won’t lose.
Silva is far superior to anyone GSP has fought and would not squander an opportunity like that.
Anderson Silva at the ESPYs
We all know that GSP is the smaller fighter than Silva, and to some, it doesn’t matter. There is a good handful of people who think, despite being smaller, that GSP would still be able to hold his own in a match with Silva.
Well, Silva has much experience in multiple weight classes whereas St-Pierre does not. It would not be wise to have his first fight in a whole new weight class come against the world’s top fighter.
It is unlikely that either fighter will completely jump into the other’s weight class. The fight will probably be a catch-weight bout.
Even so, GSP will falter against Silva.
UFC owner Dana White addresses the media
It is evident that this “super fight” is mainly for the benefit of the UFC. While this fight is something the fans are dying to see, neither fighter will be the benefactor when the dust settles.
Both of these guys are legends already, no doubt. The fighters wouldn’t earn anything from the fight in terms of a title shot or a championship since both are already champions.
This fight is and always has been about the UFC, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is Dana White’s responsibility to not only give the fans what they want, but also to put the best fighters in the world toe-to-toe with each other.
Anyone who firmly believes that GSP has a really good chance of beating Silva likely just isn’t a fan of Silva. That doesn’t apply to everyone who holds St-Pierre above Silva, but it certainly applies to some.
GSP is a legend, easily one of the best fighters ever. But from his size to his technique, he is clearly out-matched by the Brazilian. Silva is stronger, faster and bigger, and is also extremely good against wrestlers like GSP.
While I will definitely have my eyes glued to the television when the fight does eventually happen, it would be a huge upset if St. Pierre did pull this one out against his fellow champion.