It’s been debated all around the country for decades in barber shops and bars; which among the all-time greats is the greatest fighter of all-time? Is it Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao, or Floyd Mayweather? Now who would win if any of the above squared off in the ring?
The answer is up in the air as differences in era and weight classes made it impossible for these fighters to ever duke it out. It’s a rare opportunity when you can get two of the top pound-for-pound fighters of all time that are currently competing to square off against one another.
Though Mixed Martial Arts is a relatively new sport in the eyes of the mainstream sports fan, they have the rare opportunity to make one of these “super fights” happen. For weeks, there has been speculation and discussion of an MMA superfight in the cornerstone organization of the sport, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC president Dana White has made it no secret that he wants middleweight champion Anderson Silva and welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre to meet in a bout that would lay to rest who the greatest in MMA really is.
St. Pierre competed in a title unification bout just a week and a half ago against Carlos Condit at UFC 154, however the event was overshadowed by this potential Silva superfight.
Speculation grew rampant as Silva was in the building as St. Pierre won his 10th fight in a row in dominating fashion.
Silva has been adamant about letting the world and White know that he wants this “super fight” to happen as he is nearing the end of his career.
The middleweight champion is considered the No. 1 MMA fighter of all time and is a complete spectacle as he is still competing at a high level at 37 years old. He is undefeated in his last 17 fights and hasn’t lost since April 2006.
Since the fight, the younger St. Pierre has insisted that he needs to weigh his options as he would most likely need to go up to meet Silva at a catchweight. It seems like the best option is around 177 pounds, which is seven pounds above his home at welterweight and eight pounds below Silva’s home at middleweight.
St. Pierre’s trainer Firas Zahabi does not want him to move up in weight and would feel more comfortable with Silva dropping to the 170 welterweight limit.
According to MMAFighting.com Zahabi said, “I don’t know if Anderson (Silva) can make 170 or something close to that. If Georges goes up, I know he won’t be able to come back down.”
Regardless of what St. Pierre’s reservations are about fighting Silva, this fight needs to happen for the sport’s sake.
I believe an injury-ridden 2012 has broke up the momentum the sport had as it is the “fastest growing sport in the world.” St. Pierre himself was out with an injury for 16 months.
The hardcore fans still remain, however the casual fans have steered away from the sport as biggest pay-per-view draw Brock Lesnar retired, St. Pierre was injured, and Silva has pretty much cleared out the division and has only fought twice this year.
Though up-and-coming talent could challenge both St. Pierre and Silva, this fight needs to happen to garner more attention to the sport.
The UFC can do something that boxing hasn’t been able to do and that’s finally settle the debate of who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and they cannot take that opportunity for granted.
For years, boxing has attempted to make a potential “super fight” between the two best boxers in the world Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao happen. However, because of different fight promotions, the fight has not come to fruition.
If the fight were to happen, it would undoubtedly be one of the highest-grossing fights of all time (if not the highest grossing) and capture interest in the sport that is considered by many to be dying.
Not saying that a MMA “super fight” would amass the same financial achievement, however seizing the casual fight fan could do wonders and help to make it the number one combat sport.
This will be an interesting next couple of weeks as White has stated that he will make this fight happen.
Until then, the fight is still open for debate.