Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones? Nope.
Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre? Nuh-uh.
"The Spider" will forgo a superfight and defend his UFC Middleweight Championship against the top contender, Chris Weidman. That is fantastic news, and now I propose we stop talking about superfights once and for all.
I, for one, have never been a fan of superfights. However, with so much fan support, I have been resigned to believe that they will inevitably take place at some point whether they should or not.
And they shouldn't.
The biggest argument against superfights is that it takes fighters out of their division. Weight classes exist for a reason. And please do not argue that it will help us decide who is the pound-for-pound best. If that is your argument, then you have misunderstood what the pound-for-pound rankings are.
Yes, Silva is a fantastic fighter who has gone up in weight before and found success. He has defeated a former UFC light heavyweight champion, but he is still a middleweight. Eventually, he would run up against a 205-pounder who is simply too large for him to defeat.
BJ Penn is the best example of this. Penn's talent and athleticism allowed him to find success at welterweight against good competition. But what happened when he ran up against an equally talented fighter who held a size advantage? He looked terrible. Time and again, he looked awful.
The same would happen to GSP and Silva if they moved up. You should not kid yourself with fantasies that they would dominate the next-highest division the same as they have their own.
The hot fight that everyone wants is Silva vs. Jones. In theory, that sounds fantastic. Two of the best fighters on the planet fighting one another. But look deeper.
Silva is the greatest fighter we've ever seen in MMA to date, but he is 37, soon to be 38, and on the downside of his career.
Now, look at Jones: a 25-year-old super athlete who has yet to reach his prime and is still improving every aspect of his game.
And we have not touched on the physical advantages that Jones has over Silva. He is incredibly long. Jones is tied for the longest reach in the UFC with 7'0” Stefan Struve. Jones is a physical specimen who has destroyed the elite fighters in his division while still learning the all-around aspects of the game.
As for GSP vs. Silva, the stylistic matchup does not lend itself to a good outcome. Does GSP simply pin Silva down for five rounds in an uneventful decision, or does Silva leave GSP flattened on the canvas?
Does GSP have a chance against Silva? Yes, but it is not an evenly matched fight.
Furthermore, these fights are often a lose-lose proposition. If Silva does what he does best and finishes either of these men spectacularly, then the UFC has one of its biggest draws eating canvas.
Where do they go from there? They will lose some favor with fans for joining the UFC's highlight reel. And it could hurt them as fighters in the long run, too.
Now, I have no problem with fighters moving up or down in weight if they want to. That is a part of the sport. If they do move divisions in the hopes of landing a fight, then they should become full-time fighters of that division. Vacating their championship should be mandatory.
Should the UFC risk hurting one of its biggest stars for one big payday?
These fights would also halt the respective divisions involved. Instead of GSP, Silva or Jones headlining pay-per-views against other top fighters in their divisions, those contenders would be sitting on the sideline.
It hurts the contenders' wallets. They miss out on marquee matchups while the rich get richer.
These big-money superfights sound great on paper. We would love to watch elite fighters face each other, but superfights are not worth it. They come with a host of problems. It is playing with fire.
Do you really want to see an aging middleweight take on a young, dominant physical beast of a light heavyweight this badly?
Superfights should be reserved for video games.
Let's take our focus off these hypothetical fights and focus on the divisions, where numerous contenders are waiting.
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