UFC: Superfight on the horizon
The biggest showdown in UFC history could be just around the corner. This week we hear from UFC President Dana White as he for the first time speaks factually about a long mooted “Superfight” between GSP and fellow pound for pound great Anderson Silva. We also examine the fallout from the UFC that wasn’t last weekend and introduce the fighters who will do battle in the highly anticipated meeting of two old enemies in the upcoming Ultimate Fighter…
Whilst UFC 151, the event that never was has basically obliterated the prospect of UK MMA fans getting their now almost weekly UFC fix, the world of mixed martial arts has been abuzz with Dana Whites comments to “UFC Tonight” in recent days. White is invariably reticent to discuss in detail potential match-ups without pen being put to paper such is the nature of the frustratingly fickle fight game. Injuries can occur at the eleventh hour, and fighters can turn down seemingly “once in a lifetime” opportunities for their own valid reasons. A case in point is Lyoto Machida’s refusal to rematch Jon Jones whilst Dana White had already announced the bout due to Machida’s well documented eagerness to again share the cage with “Bones” following their December 2011 encounter.
Ed Soares’ assessment via telephone that he could see no reason why Machida would not take the fight appears to be what encouraged White to step outside his usual match-making protocol and it backfired in the full glare of the world’s media. It is this context that makes White’s observations and thoughts on the meeting of two of the sports all time greats all the more significant. Whilst he did not of course announce the fight, state that it is inevitable or give a tangible timetable for such a meeting he did infer that if GSP emerges successful from his November Octagon return against the formidable Carlos Condit then what would be an undoubted PPV blockbuster may be very close to reality.
White’s confidence in this bout materializing is very well founded. Both men are at the stage in their respective title laden careers that a fight of this sort of magnitude makes perfect sense. That’s not to say that Mssrs Weidman, Bisping and Hendricks don’t have due cause for complaint, they do. Such super-fights do however only come along once in a lifetime and they are in essence irresistible. Apart from the immediate title contenders at welterweight and middleweight it appears to be a “win-win” situation for all concerned: GSP and Silva are granted the opportunity to establish unrivalled legacies and in all probability unrivalled purses and Dana White will of course welcome a fight that would require minimal promotion to anyone who even remotely follows the sport. The biggest winners however would in my view be the fans.
Whilst the prospect of Pacquiao sharing a ring with Floyd Mayweather at any stage in the next century appears about as likely as Mirko Cro-Cop singing a duet of California Dreaming with Pat Barry (oh wait that did happen…).
Dana White will have copper fastened the belief that the UFC can indeed put the superfights together that boxing has failed to do for far too long.
GSP versus Silva will according to White take place at a catch-weight of 180lbs. I personally believe that a meeting at this weight still renders the Canadian at a decided disadvantage. Silva has the body type to make weight and still add substantial mass prior to fight time even at this catch weight. Indeed the middleweight champ previously suggested that he could contest St Pierre’s 170lb strap. The fight taking place is largely dependent on St Pierre overcoming Carlos Condit at UFC 154 and I believe that this is far from a foregone conclusion. Indeed the tantalizing prospect of meeting Silva in front of 100,000 fans at Dallas’ Cowboys stadium may distract the longtime welterweight kingpin from the imminent task in hand. More on this story of course as it develops…
Spotlight turns to Henderson
As UFC 151 hovers eerily over the world of MMA the fallout to the debacle continues. Jon Jones has this week set out his stall in terms of the inevitable blame game, with Dana White claiming earlier this week that Dan Henderson was also partially to blame for the unfortunate debacle. Whilst I am an unabashed fan of Henderson (read about my meeting with the Pride vet here), I believe that if he did indeed know about his knee injury two weeks out from the event then that creates further questions regarding the reasons behind his failure to notify UFC brass in the crucial interim period. Speaking on Fuel Tv’s “UFC Tonight” White was forthright as to where the blame for the event’s cancellation lay:
“Dan Henderson knew two weeks before the fight…had he given me that two weeks like he should have it (UFC 151) might have happened. He’s definitely to blame too”
Ross prepares charges for TUF encounter
The UK team for the so-called “Smashes” has been announced. As expected it contains some of the best talent on these shores. The house will of course be not be a place for the faint of heart but one look at this list of prospects should encourage UK fans belief that their boys can put one over on the old enemy…
- Colin Fletcher (8-1), 29, Sunderland
- Norman Parke (16-2), 25, Bushmills
- Michael Pastou (9-2), 30, Essex
- Mike Wilkinson (7-0), 24, Leigh
- Luke Newman (5-0), 22, London
- Bola Omoyele (6-1), 30, London
- Valentino Petrescu (12-2), 30, Essex
- Brad Scott (8-1), 23, Melksham
Coaches Pearson and Sotiropoulos will meet in December’s season finale in what should be genuinely must see tv… can’t wait.
Shameless plug time! Click here to read my interview with UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitia in The Times of India.
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