The talk of a superfight between UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has hit a fever pitch in the days leading up to St-Pierre’s unification bout with interim champion Carlos Condit at UFC 154 on Saturday.
Much of the attention this week, however, has been focused on Silva’s comments that he is considering taking a year off and not fighting again until late 2013.
Citing a focus on some non-fighting business, including making a movie with Lyoto Machida and opening a new gym in Los Angeles, Silva recently told Tatame.com, “I think we just come back at the end of next year. I’m with my personal projects underway.”
St-Pierre, of course, has to defeat Condit before any superfight can happen, but even if he does, Silva’s comments sounded alarm bells for many fans that have been calling for the Silva vs. St-Pierre fight.
One person that isn’t buying Silva’s posturing, however, is UFC president Dana White. He was a guest on ESPN’s Sportscenter on Thursday, saying he was unsure why Silva says the things he does.
St-Pierre, for his part, is obviously focused on the fight with Condit and not willing to talk much of a potential bout with Silva.
White, however, was adamant that if Georges St-Pierre wins on Saturday night, the fight with Anderson Silva will happen.
“(Silva) always comes out and says this stuff. I don't know why he does it or why he says the things he says,” White remarked. “I guarantee you, he will be there Saturday. If Georges St-Pierre wins, those two will fight and it'll probably be in May.”
That was the first time that White put any sort of target on when the fight might happen, but he has talked at length about where such a superfight could take place, and he revisited the subject on Thursday.
“Anderson Silva will be there this Saturday watching, and if (St-Pierre) wins, it'll be a huge fight for us,” White commented. “It'll probably be the biggest fight in UFC history; definitely be the biggest gate. We've had big gates pretty much everywhere we've gone, but this one would be either a soccer stadium down in Brazil, Dallas Texas Stadium, or we'd do Toronto again.”
Cowboys Stadium in Dallas is the prime target. The UFC has long wanted to hold an event there, and so have stadium officials. With a capacity upwards of 100,000, however, it would take a special fight to make Cowboys Stadium a viable proposition.
White believes Silva vs. St-Pierre is just such a fight and would love to use it as the bout that tests the upper limits of the UFC’s drawing power.
“We're curious to see what we could do,” he said. “We've been wanting to bring a fight (to Cowboys Stadium) for a long time. This fight would be the fight to do it. Hopefully we'd sell it out.”
Saturday will be the tipping point, but until Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit square off at UFC 154, the superfight that could be remains sitting out on the fringe, waiting to come to fruition.