Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Dream Fight

In the MMA world, the major dream fight being talked about right now is Anderson Silva versus Georges St. Pierre.  I was completely on board with this fight happening...three years ago.  But some things have happened since then that has made me change my mind.  The first was that it was pointed out that the risk-reward for each fighter is disproportionate.  GSP has more to gain than to lose and Silva has more to lose than to gain.  What shame does GSP have in losing to Silva?  On the other hand, what is there to gain from Silva beating a smaller fighter?  Silva beating GSP wouldn't be that impressive.  The same even goes for GSP beating Silva, after what happened at UFC 117 (where Chael Sonnen took, and held down, Silva at will).  Yes, there were questionable circumstances surrounding the fight (Silva being injured, Sonnen on PEDs etc.), but the fact remains that the novelty of seeing Silva dominated through wrestling is gone.  That's the problem with this fight.  The outcome will almost certainly resemble either GSP-Serra I (albeit more legitimately) or Silva-Sonnen I (albeit more legitimately).  It doesn't have the unpredictable nature that a dream fight should have.

The next thing that happened was UFC 128 and the beginning of Jon Jones' ascension up the P4P rankings.  Jones' victory over Shogun was the most dominant title win I'd seen since that of one Anderson Silva.  It was this precise moment that the prospect of a Jones-Silva fight surpassed Silva-GSP.  Silva and Jones are two of the, if not the, best and most creative strikers in the sport.  This fight is not predictable.  Technically Jones could employ a Sonnen-like gameplan, but there's also the possibility that something happens that's never been done before (Jones getting picked apart or vice versa); something that's not possible with GSP.  Not to mention that, unlike GSP-Silva, the loser doesn't take a big hit.  If Jones were to lose, then it would be to the greatest fighter of all-time.  And if Silva were to lose, it would be to a younger fighter just entering his prime (and could be on his way to being the greatest of all-time).  It's a win-win.  Both fighters would be helped by a win and not that hurt by a loss.

Not only is Silva-Jones a more exciting, even, and unpredictable matchup, but both fighters are in similar situations of not really having imminent contenders.  Other than postponing a potential Dan Henderson-Jon Jones fight (which could've been avoided had the UFC just rescheduled Henderson-Jones, instead of irrationally plugging in a completely undeserving Chael Sonnen), neither division would be held up by a super fight. That's not the case with the Welterweight division.  GSP has both Nick Diaz and Johnny Hendricks waiting in the wings (not to mention Rory MacDonald closing in on a title shot).  In fact, I'd much rather see GSP fight Diaz over Silva.  Diaz's boxing and Jiu-Jitsu make for a good stylistic matchup with GSP.  Even if he couldn't beat GSP, he should at least be able to get a great fight out of him (much like Condit just did).

Thankfully, GSP-Diaz is exactly the direction the UFC is going in.   The next step is moving on from the idea of GSP fighting Silva and switching to the true dream fight: Silva versus Jon Jones.

1 comment:

  1. Anderson Silva is in a very interesting scenario right now, remarkably in the latter part of his career. He has two fights waiting in the balance wherein one is a smaller fighter and one is bigger which are both arguably the best in their divisions. I'm very curious on how this year will turn out for him. He never backed down from any challenge and I don't think he's afraid of a younger and bigger Jon Jones.

    Hugh Motz