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By: Chris Park, MMATorch UK Specialist
The much hyped potential super-fight between welterweight king Georges St Pierre and his middleweight counterpart Anderson Silva took a quantum leap towards fruition this past Saturday at UFC 126 in Las Vegas.
UFC President Dana White had gone on record saying that if Silva was able to defeat the dangerous Vitor Belfort then all that stands in the way of this mega-fight is St. Pierre’s next opponent in former Strikeforce champ Jake Shields.
St. Pierre will aim to successfully defend his strap once more when he and Shields clash at UFC 129 knowing that a showdown with Silva, to decide once and for all who is pound for pound best, is at stake.
Despite this mouth watering clash looking more and more a reality, the events that unfolded at the Mandalay Bay Events Centre do leave one or two question marks over the bout.
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship first began it attracted competitors from all walks of life. One man who defines those early days is the legendary Hall Of Famer Royce Gracie.
Gracie, who stands around six feet tall, was able to use his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skill and technique, which at the time felt like a secret, to defeat all comers as he won the first two tournaments. Gracie proved the point that when you possess such a high level of skill then physical size becomes a minor hurdle that, quite simply, doesn't matter.
However, when two men fight that posses the immense skill that both St. Pierre and Silva do, then the physical aspect of their competition does come into play.
An example of that was seen at Saturday's UFC 126 in the light heavy-weight division, as Jon Jones was able to completely dominate another rising star in Ryan Bader as he made the much hyped wrestler look average, at best. With a significant height and reach advantage, this was a prime example of size coupled with skill being virtually impossible to compete against.
Should Anderson Silva and George St. Pierre finally do battle for the title of "Pound For Pound Best" it is looking increasingly likely that it will be scheduled for Silva's 185 lb. title rather than at a catch-weight in the spirit of the occasion.
If the bout is indeed scheduled at middleweight, then the balance of favour will tip significantly towards Silva In what would be a career defining moment for the victor.
Anderson Silva came through what was said to be the most dangerous challenge – at least as far as striking is concerned – of his UFC reign, as he knocked Vitor Belfort out with a front kick to the face last Saturday.
The kick landed flush and with such accuracy pretty much any opponent would fail to see it coming and crumble in the same fashion that Belfort did. While St. Pierre has been thoroughly dominant during his title reign, Silva is in a different league to any other opponent he has faced.
GSP was able to comfortably nullify the striking threats of Dan Hardy, B.J. Penn and Thiago Alves, along with out-striking Josh Koscheck in his last outing; Silva, however, will pose a completely different threat. Would that have been St. Pierre’s chin on the end of Silva’s toe instead of Belfort, then in all likelihood "Rush" would also have been left seeing stars.
St. Pierre is one of the greatest fighters to pull on a pair of mitts and may well go down as the most dominant welterweight of all time; he has, however, been hurt in the past, and when tackling an opponent like Silva he is always just one kick to the face from a knockout defeat.
Chris Park is the MMATorch UK Specialist and guest columnist at ESPN.co.uk. Please email any comments or questions to Chris at; firstname.lastname@example.org or look us up at http://www.facebook.com/mmatorchuk2 our new MMATorch Facebook home for UK Fans!
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