By MATT BOONE
Due to the early-day live airing of UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi yesterday many MMA fans were shocked to hear the revelation during the pay-per view broadcast, prior to the main event, that Anderson Silva would be moving down to 170 pounds to fight Georges St-Pierre for the UFC Welterweight Championship. The announcement were made as if it were common knowledge, which had me scratching my head for a bit until finally being informed enough as the show went on that it was in-fact something that seemed like a definite - as long as Silva got past his UFC Middleweight title defense against Demian Maia. Fans who avoided the internet because the show aired early in the day had no idea and when it was revealed that Silva would be moving down, instead of GSP moving up, it seemed like a wildly exciting idea. All of a sudden, Brock Lesnar's return show and Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans don't seem like the big fights on the horizon.
It's the two best fighters in the UFC, both champions, finding a way to meet despite it seeming impossible after Silva showcased his ability to take over a division north of his, as opposed to the champion from a division south of his. Regardless, GSP is in everyone's pound for pound top three, Lyoto Machida isn't. Lyoto just had the least impressive fight in his career against Mauricio Rua, GSP continues to out-skill the best UFC can conjure up for him at 170 without breaking a sweat. GSP and Anderson Silva is THE fight. And great news - Silva defeated Maia - so according to the announcement made on the UFC 112 PPV broadcast the fight is on! Well, maybe not.
Dana White's disgust with Silva's performance in the Maia fight was so great that he seems to shrug off the idea as if no one is interested in it anymore. You couldn't be more wrong, Dana! Dana mentioned during some post-fight interviews yesterday that he honestly doesn't know how to promote Anderson Silva anymore. First off, anyone who says they're boycotting Anderson Silva now and won't be buying anymore shows he's on, ask yourself this: if GSP-Anderson is made, are you boycotting that show? Be honest now! UFC Primetime build-up for the biggest fight that can be made in the sport, the press conference, all the trimmings. And you're passing it up out of protest because Anderson had another whacky fight? You're buying. Now that aside, how do you promote Anderson Silva now? You put him in there with someone who people believe can beat him. Georges St-Pierre is that guy. You already teased us after down-playing it as impossible for so long. And it wasn't a subtle tease, go re-watch the show. I want that fight!
Dana White used to mention how angry he was that he never got to promote Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva in the UFC when it really meant something. You've never been able to make this fight due to the belief that GSP moving up to fight Anderson at 185 isn't fair to GSP. Well a solution was made: Anderson is moving down to 170. The biggest fight that can be made now has no more plausible excuses. The excuse that it's a fight no one wants to see because the build-up to the mega Silva vs. Maia historical showdown didn't live up to its' enormous expectations is not an excuse good enough for passing up on that fight. C'mon! You push the chance at this mega-fight away now and you're letting the god's of fate, which love nothing more than to throw wrenches into the fight game, screw this up for everyone who's dieing to see this showdown.
I legitimately made the comment to some friends while watching the show, after hearing of GSP-Silva at 170, "they can charge me $100 for it and make it a one-fight show, I'm buying." I would too - go ahead and charge me a special price. But one thing you can't do is deprive everyone of the best two fighters in the world finding a way to meet up and find out who the absolute best is. There are still some who put Fedor Emelianenko in the top spot, but most have slowly worked him down due to inactivity and lack of solid competition in a long time. Almost no one would argue GSP and Silva as the other two in the top three discussion. These guys can fight and we can honestly answer who the best single fighter on planet earth is.
So wait a minute - GSP-Silva at 170 was on, but not anymore?!