Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jones' Victory Puts GSP/Silva Superfight on Hold

Before this past weekend the fight that almost every MMA fan was taking about was a potential superfight between the current UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and the current UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva.  UFC President Dana White had downplayed the possibility of the two champions fighting but it seemed inevitable as both fighters had cleaned out their respective divisions and were in desperate need of some real competition.

Then on Saturday night Jon "Bones" Jones put on one of the most dominant performances in recent history on Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.  Now the talk has shifted from GSP/Silva to a possible Jones vs Silva match-up and I for one couldn't be happier.

While it would be amazing to see GSP fight Anderson Silva as a GSP fan I don't think I could handle it.  Both fighters are extremely dominant within their division (Silva is even dominant at Light Heavyweight having stepped up and beaten fighters like James Irvin and Forrest Griffin) but GSP does not possess the size to handle Anderson and I believe if they fought he would get killed.

Anderson cuts to get down to 185lbs and in order for GSP to make weight and be even close to the same size as Anderson he would need to put on some serious muscle which would no doubt hinder his speed, which currently is one of his biggest weapons.  Anderson has shown a weakness to takedowns, which is another area GSP excels, but his size advantage over Georges would counterbalance the takedowns as GSP would struggle to keep the much larger man down.

This is all a moot point now anyways since Jones victory has thrust him into the conversation as a possible opponent for Anderson Silva.

The Light Heavyweight division is one of, if not the most, stacked divisions in the UFC with more potential champions than any other weight class.  Proven fighters such as Shogun, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Forrest Griffin have all held the title at least once in the past 3 years.  Plus there are up and comers like Ryan Bader and Phil Davis who if they continue to develop could one day be champion.

Yet all of those fighters, with the exception of Phil Davis, have shown holes in their game and an ability to be dominated by opponents.  Jon Jones on the other hand has walked through each one of his opponents as if he was on easy mode in a video game.  He does what he wants when he wants and his opponents just stand there and take it.

Going into his fight against Shogun many people, including myself, were worried that Jones wouldn't be able to handle the step up in competition.  He quickly put an end to those concerns when not even 60 seconds into the fight he had thrown a flying knee and a front kick to the face that wobbled Shogun.  There is no other way to put it other than Jones beat up Shogun.  It wasn't even really a fight (according to Jones landed well over 130 strikes while Shogun landed a pathetic 11 strikes).

So now if Jones beats his next scheduled opponent, Rashad Evans, he could very well face Anderson Silva which would be a much fairer fight than if GSP had to take on Silva.  Jones has the longest reach in the UFC (84 inches) and has the height/size to hang with Anderson.  He also has the same freakish athletic ability as Silva which would make the fight real interesting.

If Jones and Silva fought it would more than likely be one of the most entertaining striking battles in MMA history as both guys like to throw crazy unorthodox strikes that really progress the sports.  For instance last time he fought Anderson Silva knocked out Vitor Belfort with a front kick to the face.  When Jones fought Shogun he used that exact same front kick 4 or 5 times in the fight as if he watched Anderson do it and then tried to do it himself.

This would be in stark contrast to a GSP/Silva fight where Georges would need to take Silva down and out wrestle him to earn the victory as on the feet he would be outclassed no matter how much he trains with Freddie Roach.  The fight would still be amazing just because of the fact that it would be two of the best pound for pound fighters in the world but I prefer stand up fights as opposed to fights fought on the ground.

UFC President Dana White recently commented on the possibility of GSP fight Silva when he spoke to Yahoo Sports.  "This fight isn't happening," White said. "It's not a fight yet. It's still a big fantasy fight. There are still things that need to happen in the meantime before we sit down and discuss where this fight would be, what weight it would be at, how it would work. It's all just fantasy yet.  I literally have not talked to Georges St-Pierre or Anderson Silva about this fight."

So it seems that Georges is going to be staying at Welterweight and continue to dominate opponents leaving the only superfight left a Jones/Silva match up.  I still think Jones need to have a few more convincing wins first but if he beats Rashad the way he beat up Shogun and Anderson walks through Yushin Okami then I could see a fight between the two dynamic strikers being a real possibility and possibly the only viable option in terms of seeing how good they both truly are.

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