Now that former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has officially announced his impending return to the octagon, at middleweight this time, the glimmer of hope that a superfight between GSP and Anderson Silva could still happen has returned.
While the fight, if it ever does turn into a reality, has lost much of its luster since both fighters are past their prime, a GSP-Silva matchup would still attract huge PPV dollars. They are two of the greatest champions in UFC history, and at one point were the subject of a heated debate over who was the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
During a recent episode of the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast, St-Pierre reveals that he went back and forth with UFC management for a while about a fight with Silva, but it never quite worked out. Then, after he “retired” from the sport in November 2013, the UFC tried to lure him back with a big money fight against The Spider, but GSP was determined to take a break from the sport.
“We talked about Anderson Silva many times with Lorenzo [Fertitta] and Dana [White],” GSP said, according to MMAJunkie. “What I wanted to do at the time – there was a big lineup of contenders in my division and what I wanted to do, if I would have fought him at the time because I would have had to defend my title too, I would have done it at a catchweight, 177 pounds with WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency testing]. Because USADA was not in place back then, and I wanted to do the WADA testing for performance enhancing drugs.
“I think the UFC didn’t really like the idea at the time,” St-Pierre continued. “But then after I had to fight other guys, after I blew out my ACL then a lot of guys were waiting for me to come back. I didn’t have a time to stop or the opportunity to fight Silva.”
“The truth is this: The only time I’ve been offered to fight Anderson Silva, formally – like formally – like a real offer, was after my fight with Johny Hendricks when I retired. It’s not because it was Anderson Silva. I would not have fought nobody. You could have put a midget of 3-foot tall, I would not have even fought him. I didn’t want to fight. I was tired. I wanted to take time off.”
St-Pierre said earlier this year that he was looking for “big fights” and not necessarily title fights. Of course, that was before the UFC announced he would be fighting Michael Bisping for the middleweight title later this summer. Now that he’s fighting at 185-pounds (which is also Silva’s natural weight class), maybe this superfight is closer than ever to actually happening.