GSP vs. Silva: What Would a Win Do for George St. Pierre's Legacy?

NEW YORK - MARCH 24:  Georges St-Pierre of Montreal, Quebec, Canada speaks at a press conference for UFC 111 at Radio City Music Hall on March 24, 2010 in New York City.  St-Pierre will face Dan Hardy of Nottingham UK in the Welterweight title bout.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Michael MagoulisCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2011

Georges "Rush" St. Pierre and Anderson "The Spider" Silva are easily the two most dominant champions the UFC has ever had and perhaps two of the most dominant fighters in the history of mixed martial arts.

GSP made his MMA debut in 2002. It only took until 2004 before he was fighting a legend in Matt Hughes for the UFC Welterweight Championship. Despite the loss, St. Pierre went on to win his next five fights to get another shot at Hughes and subsequently win the title.

Matt Serra handed GSP just the second loss of his career with a first-round knockout, although St. Pierre has proved that the loss was good for him. Since then, he's more frequently relied on his superb wrestling ability, going on to win nine straight fights and avenging his loss to Serra.

Anderson Silva, on the other hand, hasn't lost at all since entering the UFC. He's currently riding a 15-fight win streak, including nine straight title defenses.

After a quick first-round knockout of Chris Leben in 2006, Silva knocked out Rich Franklin in his second UFC bout to win the Middleweight Championship. He's gone on to clean out the middleweight division and even made a couple of trips up to light heavyweight to knock out James Irvin and Forrest Griffin.

While St. Pierre is, without a doubt, the most dominant welterweight in MMA history, he doesn't quite have that spectacular finishing ability of Anderson Silva, which leaves many to believe that he is the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter. Either way, seeing the top two mixed martial artists in the world fight has been something that fans have been wanting for years.

While Silva and his management seems to be willing to fight from anywhere from 170 to 185 pounds, Georges St. Pierre has stated that a jump to 185 would be a permanent move. Many have speculated that the weight issue is masking GSP's fear of facing Silva. 

A loss in the world of MMA is extremely detrimental to one's career. Fedor Emelianenko was the greatest in the world until a loss caused many to question his legacy. It is understandable that GSP fears the same fate. If the move to 185 is permanent and GSP loses, he could be stuck in a weight class that he is unfit for.

A win, however, would easily put "Rush" atop the pound-for-pound rankings and perhaps even make him the greatest of all-time. That may not necessarily outweigh the risk of tarnishing his legacy, however, because he may still be able to achieve that status without ever fighting Silva. Continuing to dominate the welterweight division may be enough to do that on its own.

It seems that if this fight were to ever occur, it would have to take place at welterweight or at a catch weight under 180 pounds. Again, St. Pierre runs the risk of losing within his own weight class and losing his title, which would be even more detrimental than a loss at 185.

St. Pierre's resistance to this bout leads many to believe that a Anderson Silva versus Jon Jones super fight is more likely to occur. With Anderson Silva now 36 years old and Georges St. Pierre being 30, the time for this fight needs to be sooner rather than later.

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