November 17, 2012
Anderson Silva hypes 'Superfight'
By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency
MONTREAL - UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva stepped on to the podium inside the media room at the Bell Centre and announced: “I’m the new Dana White ... Dana Black.”
The Brazilian’s unexpected crack brought the house down.
If Carlos Condit heard it, he probably would have cracked up as well, but the UFC interim welterweight champion was holed up inside a dressing room a few yards down the hall getting ready for his fight against Canadian hero Georges St. Pierre for the undisputed welterweight title.
The rest of what Anderson had to say at the hastily assembled media conference prior to the St. Pierre-Condit showdown at UFC 154 likely wouldn’t have made Condit laugh. Quite the opposite. Basically, Anderson talked as if Condit had already lost his match against St. Pierre, even though the fight was still a couple hours away. He talked as if Condit was a ghost, a chump — yammering on about a long-awaited ‘Superfight’ against St. Pierre, possibly in May, 2013. At one point a reporter asked Silva what would happen if Condit upset St. Pierre, who, before suffering a knee injury 19 months ago, was considered one the best pound-for-pound fighters in mixed martial arts.
“Yeah, of course. I change my plans,” Silva said. “But in my opinion, Georges wins tonight.”
Of course, not all the Superfight hype was Silva’s doing. According to the Brazilian MMA legend, UFC president Dana White requested his presence at UFC 154 with the explicit reason to hype the Superfight against GSP. But it all seemed surreal ... Silva hyping a fight against St. Pierre just hours before St. Pierre was to face Condit, a highly-dangerous fighter in his own right. If Condit needed any extra motivation for his fight against GSP, there it was.
But that’s the promotion genius of Dana White. White has been criticized the last couple for years for putting together some inferior cards, so he’s really pushing a Superfight between two of the UFC’s biggest stars, at a catch weight between the middleweight and welterweight divisions. (Silva said he would only take the fight if it was fought at, or around, 177. GSP weighed in for his bout with Condit at 170). Just a few weeks ago, Anderson, 16-0 as a UFC fighter, said he was going to take some time off and wouldn’t be returning to the Octagon until the end of the next year. Obviously that didn’t sit well with White, who got Silva to change his mind in a hurry. Now the Brazilian said he is “excited” about the prospect of fighting GSP early next year.
“I had my plans, my personal plans in Brazil for my new school for my family, but uh, Dana talked me (into) coming here for watching the fight,” said Silva, in heavily accented English. “But maybe have the Superfight, maybe in Brazil, maybe here, I don’t know.”
Silva also addressed speculation that, if he got past St. Pierre, he would then fight light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones in a second Superfight, though he seems much more eager to fight the Canadian, who would have to go up in weight to face him, which would be a disadvantage for GSP.
“For long time the people talk, ‘Hey, Anderson and Georges St. Pierre, Anderson and Georges St. Pierre’. This time the people talk, ‘Anderson and Jon Jones, Anderson and Jon Jones’. My first goal is Georges St. Pierre, the Superfight,” Silva continued. “And second goal, maybe Jon Jones. I don’t know. This is no my decision. This is Dana’s decision.”
One other key reason why Silva backed out of his plans to take a year off was the chance for a major pay day. Compared to the very top professional boxers, the Floyd Mayweathers and Manny Pacquiaos, who experience huge multi-million dollar paydays, the top UFC fighters like Silva and Jones make peanuts. A match between Silva and St. Pierre, likely held in a major venue (Dallas Cowboys Stadium has been suggested), would undoubtedly make both fighters millions. And at 37, Silva realizes that he doesn’t have a ton of time left to make the big money. Neither does St. Pierre, who turns 32 next year.
Silva said he will sit down with White and work out a schedule for his final few fights before retiring. The pair used to feud on a regular basis. Now they’re like Irish twins. Of course, with a big-money Superfight on the horizon, it would crazy for Silva and White not to play nice.