Following Anderson "The Spider" Silva's destruction of Yushin Okami at UFC 134 and his record ninth title defense and 14th straight victory inside the Octagon, focus once again is placed on a super-fight between the sport's two pound-for-pound champions, Georges St-Pierre and Silva.
Always with his finger on the pulse of the fans interest, UFC President Dana White addressed this potential super-fight at the press conference following UFC 134: Rio on August 27.
“I think there’s a couple of other fights out there for him at 185. It’s very clear, Number one, that the fans want to see this fight. And Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva are both getting into a position here pretty soon – first of all, they both only want big fights. But they’re getting into a position here where that fight’s going to make sense…It would be very good business, yes. I honestly believe that there are a couple more fights for Anderson and Georges. And if they both win, honestly I don’t know if there’s a stadium big enough to hold that fight,” White stated.
With a fight of this magnitude destined in the future for both of these champions, considerable debate has already been provided this matchup and who would come out on top.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for both St-Pierre and Silva. With that said, my analysis of this matchup is based on each individual fighters skill-set only, not my personal opinion.
Therefore, please follow along as I dissect how and why Anderson Silva would pick apart Georges St-Pierre in this mega-bout that would rewrite the history books in MMA.
I welcome your comments.
Regardless of the kind words of your comforting ex-girlfriend, size does matter. And in a sport like mixed martial arts, a height and reach advantage pay tremendous dividends inside the Octagon.
At 6'2" tall with a 77" reach, Silva is three inches taller and has a one inch reach advantage over GSP. Even that slight reach advantage is extremely challenging for any competitor to overcome.
Couple the genetic advantage of being taller and longer with the ability to utilize that reach advantage like Anderson Silva does, and the result is "The Spider's" amazing talent at keeping fighters at bay, outside of harm's way from his opponent's strikes, yet within his striking range.
Silva is the master of the jab and a multitude of various leg kicks. Look back on his past two matchups with Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami. Both fights are proof that Silva's range is extremely difficult to get by.
Keeping Belfort just far enough away not to get struck by "The Phenom," Silva delivered a knockout front kick that was almost indefensible.
Likewise, Silva's array of jabs and leg kicks on Okami pushed the Japanese star outside of his comfort zone unable to strike "The Spider." However, Silva utilized this distance to set up two devastating strikes which finished the night for Okami.
I realize that GSP is a tremendously gifted boxer who possesses an excellent jab himself. Just ask Josh Koscheck how effective St-Pierre's jab is.
However, Silva's overall height and one inch reach advantage will keep St-Pierre at bay allowing Silva to pick apart the welterweight champion at will.
Silva's innate ability to slip punches is a work of art. At UFC 101, Silva ducked and weaved all striking attempts provided by Forrest Griffin making the former TUF champion look like an amateur boxer.
Fast forward to UFC 136 and Silva's matrix-like defense resulted int he same fate for Okami who could not land a solid strike on the chin of the middleweight champion.
Even Vitor Belfort, who is widely considered as one of the all-time greatest boxers within mixed martial arts, swung wildly at Silva during the opening minutes of their matchup prior to his knockout defeat.
"The Spider" possesses a level of defensive prowess unrivaled within the sport. Outside of Chael Sonnen's moderate success at landing punches on Silva, the chin of the champion has not been tested recently.
Conversely, St-Pierre has been rocked on a few occasions in previous matchups. Most recently, Jake Shields had GSP reeling in their battle at UFC 129.
This matrix-esque talent possessed by Silva makes the champion that much harder to hit. An ability such as this comes along once in a generation. And "The Spider" is fortunate to be blessed with this innate talent.
Stepping foot inside the Octagon, a competitor's arsenal of offensive weapons makes that fighter that much more difficult to defeat.
Possessing the ability to strike with all eight weapons on his feet, Silva delivers strikes from all angles and all planes with all body parts.
Retrospectively, St-Pierre is more of a traditional kick-boxer delivering punches and kicks, yet rarely utilizes the clinch, or devastating knee strikes.
Creative with his offensive approach inside the cage, Silva has defeated high-level opposition with jaw-rattling knees, knockout power punches, and a ridiculous array of leg kicks.
These weapons for "The Spider" provide the champion a wide variety of finishing choices that St-Pierre does not possess in his skill-set.
With an overall MMA record of 31-4 with 18 vicious knockouts, Silva possesses the ability to devastate his opposition at a moment's notice.
Conversely, St-Pierre has recorded only eight knockouts in his 22 victories, 10 shy of "The Spider."
A ferocious striker with devastating power, Silva's ability to knockout his opposition is a distinct advantage over St-Pierre's lack of power in his strikes.
Outside of a few ego trips against Thales Leites and Demian Maia, Silva has entered the Octagon with the clear intention of not allowing the decision to go to the judges.
Stepping foot inside the cage to defend his coveted championship, "The Spider" fights to win and will utilize his entire skill-set to guarantee a decisive victory inside the Octagon.
Conversely, St-Pierre has been admonished for his inability to finish fights. Labeled as a champion who competes not to lose, GSP has earned nine decision victories. Five of his past six title defenses have gone the distance.
A killer instinct is a trained and programmed weapon. When the opposition is reeling, Silva completes the challenge with either a knockout or a submission. St-Pierre, on the other hand, has had difficulty finishing his opponents and therefore leaving his victories in the hands of the judges.
Considering a super-fight matchup between these two champions, if Silva has GSP on the ropes, St-Pierre should expect a flurry of strikes delivered by the middleweight champion. Thus adding the pound-for-pound king to the running tally of knockout victims laid waste by "The Spider."