GSP still open to Anderson Silva fight

Posted: 07/03/2017 in MMA, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 

One of MMA’s most sought after dream matches could still become a reality someday.

Appearing on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast, UFC legend Georges St-Pierre teased that a meeting with fellow future Hall of Famer Anderson Silva is something that’s on his mind. GSP is set to end a three-year retirement when he fights middleweight champion Michael Bisping later this year.

During St-Pierre and Silva’s respective reigns over the 170- and 185-pound divisions, fans often speculated how a fight between the two would unfold, and now that St-Pierre is moving up in weight it seems closer than ever despite them being past their primes.

“It is possible,” St-Pierre said, according to Mike Bohn of MMAjunkie. “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 (at UFC 167) when I retired.

“It’s not (that I turned it down) because it was Anderson Silva. I would not have fought nobody. You could have put a midget of 3-foot tall, (and) I would not have even fought him. I wouldn’t want to fight. I was tired. I wanted to take time off.”

After narrowly outpointing Hendricks to record his ninth consecutive title defense, St-Pierre stepped away from MMA, citing burnout as one of the reasons for his withdrawal. He never committed to retirement and rumors of a comeback reached a fever pitch last year before he formally signed a new deal with the UFC in February.

While Bisping was not the middleweight opponent fans had been clamoring for, it does offer St-Pierre the opportunity to become the fourth fighter in UFC history to win titles in two divisions. After that, the timing could be right to settle his business with Silva, something that was difficult to arrange in the past due to St-Pierre’s responsibilities as welterweight champion.

“We talked about Anderson Silva many times with (former UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) and (UFC President) Dana (White),” St-Pierre said. “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 (of) 177 (pounds) with (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. 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).”

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