Let's say for argument’s sake that George St-Pierre wins his upcoming fight against Jake Shields in Toronto, and Anderson "The Spider” Silva loses at UFC 126 against Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (which the odds say is more likely than GSP losing). That being the case, it then makes less sense for the "Super Fight" between GSP and Silva that everyone (including UFC President Dana White) has wanted, to actually happen. Nonetheless, GSP will most likely still be looking at a move up to Middleweight.
So, who does he fight? Belfort? Maybe, but even though it would still be a title fight, it probably would not have the same allure that GSP VS Silva would. Considering their win streaks and how long both Georges and "The Spider" have held the title in their respective divisions, with Silva coming off of a lose the match up wouldn't make nearly as much sense or be nearly as exciting.
Chael Sonnen, on the other hand, would be a great transition from Welterweight to Middleweight for GSP. Their styles match up almost perfectly. Both are two of the best and strongest wrestlers in their current divisions, the UFC, and probably the world. Both fighters out-strike their opponents on the feet at a near 100% rate.
Sonnen is coming off of a title fight loss to the aforementioned Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva, a fight in which he dominated 23 of the 25 minutes that they were in the Octagon together, before getting caught late in Round No. 5 in a triangle choke.
Granted, since then he has been dealing with a handful of personal troubles (Steroid accusation and some minor mortgage fraud) that have him suspended until at least March. But, what better way of proving himself, yet again, (as if his 23 minute domination of Silva wasn't enough) to both the fans and to the UFC, than getting back in the cage with another one of best in the world?
There was a lot of trash talking before Silva and Sonnen faced off. Anderson was sure he'd come out on top, defend his title for the seventh time, and shut up the confident No. 1 Contender. Chael was sure he'd be the aggressor, control the pace of the fight, and ultimately beat and dethrone the legend. He narrowly missed his goal of dethroning the champion, but one could definitely make the argument, as did Sonnen, that the legend was at least somewhat defeated the night of August 7th, 2010.
When Sonnen and Silva met at UFC 117 in Oakland, California one thing was certain: It was going to be an action-packed, up-tempo war. It did not disappoint. Silva, a notoriously difficult opponent to take down, looked largely mediocre when confronted with Sonnen's tremendous wrestling skills.
The Team Quest member also went on to out-strike one of the best standup fighters that MMA has ever seen, get countless take-downs in each and every round, and ground-and-pound the Champ continuously. We all know the ending. “The Spider” showed the unrelenting spirit of a champion and locked up the Submission Comeback-Of-The-Year Victory.
It’s rare that a fighter switches weight classes, whether it is moving up or down, and immediately gets a title shot. However, in the case of George St-Pierre and Anderson Silva, so many people want to see that fight that it wouldn’t matter. It just so happens that two of the best fighters in the world happen to be title holders in their respective, connecting divisions.
This being the case, GSP moving up to fight Anderson Silva would naturally result in an automatic title shot in just his first fight in a new division. But, if Silva still wasn’t the champ, then a title shot isn’t a guarantee and GSP should fight at least one top-tier competitor before fighting for the belt.
Chael Sonnen is a proven striker, a world class wrestler, and has demonstrated himself as dominant force at 185. With a little more work on his submission offense, defense, and overall Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills he could easily be a pound-for-pound top 10 fighter.
St-Pierre holds a stellar record of 21-2 with his only two loses being to Matt Hughes, a great wrestler with above average standup, and Matt Serra, an above-average wrestler with very good standup. Sonnen is basically a more aggressive hybrid of both of these fighters, minus their BJJ skills. If Sonnen could defend the submissions of GSP he’d be the perfect man to go toe-to-toe and possibly end St-Pierre’s 8 fight win streak.
Overall, there are arguably no better opponents in the Middleweight division for George “Rush” St-Pierre to face than that of former No. 1 Contender, Chael Sonnen. For the advancement of both St-Pierre and Sonnen’s careers, for further enhancement of the UFC, and most importantly, for the fans, this fight needs to happen!
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