Yesterday, Welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre was medically clear to fully resume mixed martial arts activities.  For the UFC, which just suffered a historical failing in the cancellation of UFC 151 this couldn’t be better news. GSP is one of the biggest stars in the organization and his layoff has put Zuffa under the duress of not having enough main event fighters and champions to market to the public.  Now that GSP is coming off the shelf and will hopefully make his return at UFC 154, Zuffa is guaranteed one massive PPV to round out their fourth quarter with.  St. Pierre is one of the biggest draws in the sport and his return to the octagon after such a long layoff coupled with the title unification match will ensure a highly sought after card. Not to mention the event will be held in Montreal. The Canadians are among the most loyal mma fan base in the world and they come out in droves when their countryman fights. All signs point to UFC 154 being one of the biggest Zuffa events of the year.

But GSP’s return portends another event much more profitable and interesting for Zuffa than just the average welterweight title scrap. Recently, Anderson Silva said in an interview with Sport TV that he wants to fight St. Pierre next, regardless of the outcome of the Carlos Condit fight.  Anderson has often hinted at being open to a fight with GSP but now that he seems to finally have figured out that we can’t clone him and let him fight himself, he is taking a more active role in pursuing the super-fight that has been at the forefront of every MMA fan’s mind for several years. Super-fights are a rarity in the UFC for a multitude of reasons but mainly because when a champion fights another champion it diminishes the luster of one of the parties, which in this increasingly small pool of headlining talent is a serious concern for the organization. The only time a champion vs. champion match has occurred was when BJ Penn channeled his inner Chael Sonnen and steadfastly called out GSP until Dana White finally agreed.  For a super-fight to occur both champions must have effectively established a clear level of dominance over the rest of the division for a sustained period of time and one or both parties must actively campaign for the fight. GSP has adamantly maintained that were he to fight Andy Silver he would want to take time off to gain weight appropriately and move permanently to the middleweight division but now that Anderson has begun to sound the call and assuming that GSP wrestle-humps Condit all over the cage decisively now would be the perfect time to implement that fight.

Should GSP make it through Condit relatively injury free Dana could coerce GSP into a short break and have the super-fight put on sometime early in 2013, preferably mid-February near the annual Super Bowl card, a card which the have often tried to stack with big names. A Silva-St. Pierre mega-fight would galvanize the masses like we have rarely seen in mma and would stand a decent chance at overtaking the mma PPV record. More importantly though, it would re-energize the UFC and give them a much needed lift to begin the new year with. Zuffa has been coming under scrutiny lately from media and fans alike claiming that an excess of events has created over-saturation of the market and dilution of talent leading to top-heavy cards (much like 151).  By putting on the biggest fight of the decade Zuffa would remind everyone what they love about the UFC and why they started watching in the first place. Hell, just the announcement of that fight would rejuvenate the mma community at large and help get the bad taste of UFC 151 out of our collective mouths.

But most importantly of all is that Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva need to fight each other.  They are both utterly dominant champions within range of each others weight and even more entertainingly, they are stylistic kryptonite to each other. Any fan who saw Chael Sonnen style on Silva for 5+ rounds has to think GSP can do it better. And GSP’s barely edging out Jake Shields in a kickboxing match has to make Canadians cringe at the thought of Anderson’s particular brand of violence being situated across the cage from their golden boy. It’s the type of fight that truly is a once-in-a-generation event and not seizing this opportunity would be a colossal detriment to the fans.  I can still distinctly remember the feeling watching Chuck Liddell finally square off against Wanderlei Silva and that fight came several years after when it should have. Had I never seen that fight my life experience as an mma fan wouldn’t be quite as sweet. Silva-St. Pierre is the same way. Losing it would be a bigger tragedy than losing 151. I sure hope we see it next year.

-Jed

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