On March 16, Georges St. Pierre, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight champion, defended his title against mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Nick Diaz at UFC 158, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Prior to their bout, Diaz spoke about St. Pierre’s reluctance to face Silva, even going so far as to question the heart of the reigning champ.
“I will tell you right now, I want to fight the No. 1 fighter in the world. I have always said that,” said Diaz. “I want to fight the No. 1 fighter. Georges has never said that. That’s the only thing I’ve ever said negative about Georges. If I were in his place, I would do more. I would be asking for the Anderson Silva fight. I wouldn’t let that blow away. That’s crazy!”
While Diaz did attempt to secure a fight with the UFC middleweight champ a little while back, earning him credit for being willing to trade blows with mixed martial arts’ pound-for-pound best, it doesn’t give him license to criticize GSP’s heart due to his less than enthusiastic attitude toward a possible MMA fight with Silva.
A fight against Silva is clearly a win-win for Diaz since even loosing will allow him to walk away with a big payday. Victory of course would bring with it the middleweight title, an even bigger payday, and the fame that goes with being the man who ended the reign of “The Spider.”
Naturally Diaz would be interested in taking on such a fight.
For GSP things aren’t quite as clear cut. While the potential payday would be huge, GSP would be risking his 11 match win streak (9 of which were title matches) against an opponent that will at best have a moderate advantage over him for a payday that he doesn’t really need as he already makes a good deal from each fight he takes on.
The risks become more pronounced when you consider Silva’s massive size advantage. A matchup between GSP and Silva would be a mismatch on a number of levels that would make it considerably less competitive. Silva is a middle weight who uses range to dominate even much larger mixed martial artists in the light-heavyweight division with ease, whereas GSP is a welterweight who has yet to fight above 185 lbs.
As far as offense, Silva fights on a whole different level as we saw recently in his match with Chael Sonnen. While GSP, like Sonnen would likely manage a few takedowns, it wouldn’t be long before he found himself caught up in “The Spider’s” web.
Taking into account the reasons not to want a fight with Silva, the questioning of GSP’s heart is simply unwarranted. It would be similar to questioning the courage of Anderson for not pursuing a super-match with light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones. It’s one thing to move up a weight class in MMA, but quite another to take on its best contender right off the bat.
Original article written by David King
Rewritten by Chauncey Kent