UFC President Dana White has pretty much guaranteed that if welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defeats Jake Shields on April 30 at UFC 129, the promotion will put together a super fight between St-Pierre and reigning middleweight king Anderson “The Spider” Silva.
It is a fight that many have speculated about over the years. Both men are considered among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and on any given day, depending on who you talk to, either Silva or St-Pierre (and yes, Jose Aldo too) is known as the greatest MMA fighter on the planet.
Many people are already putting the fight together between Silva (28-4) and St-Pierre (21-2). For whatever reason, they are just assuming St-Pierre is going to defeat, if not walk through, Jake Shields (26-4-1). Our own sponsor, LinesMaker, has the odds for St-Pierre at -600 and Shields at +400.
But what if Shields upsets the apple cart and throws a great big proverbial monkey wrench into the plans? What if he does to St-Pierre what he did to 1992 and 1996 Olympian Dan Henderson and dominates him? Should his name be thrown in the top pound-for-pound talks, or more importantly, will he get the super fight with Anderson Silva?
UFC fans may have already assumed this to be the case, but at Tuesday’s UFC 129 press conference in Toronto, White explained why it is a different situation, Shields is in a different place than St-Pierre and would not get to fight “The Spider” if he were to defeat GSP on April 30:
“Jake has been on this run and he’s fought at 185-pounds too and been dominant there. But the thing is, the reason this Anderson Silva – Georges St-Pierre fight makes so much sense is because these two have consistently been fighting in the UFC and this is more of a legacy super fight. You know, people argue over who’s the pound-for-pound best in the world, ‘Is it GSP? Is it Anderson Silva?’ And both guys… if he [GSP] beats Jake Shields, and he [Anderson Silva] just beat Vitor, they both just cleaned out an entire division over the last several years and the fight makes sense. It’s like the pound-for-pound championship.”
That makes sense and Shields showed no sign of disagreement when White made the statement.
Shields has done some amazing things and has an incredible 15-fight win streak going. His last loss was in 2004 when he lost a unanimous decision to Akira Kikuchi in Shooto.
However, the fact is he has been competing in organizations such as Strikeforce, EliteXC, Bodog and Rumble on the Rock, and while all of them have been fine organizations, generally speaking, the consistent competition level has not been equivalent to what GSP and Silva have faced in the UFC.
At least that is how Dana White views the situation. And in this case, that’s all that really matters.