While it may seem like there’s not a lot of movement on Georges St Pierre – Anderson Silva superfight negotiations, the truth of the matter is the haggling has already begun. Not between Dana, Anderson, and Georges. But through the press via various surrogates. Georges’ trainer Firas Zahabi has already declared his desire that the fight happen at welterweight. No catchweight! Now Anderson Silva’s strength and conditioning coach Rogerio Camoes pushes back against the idea:
“It would be a crime for Anderson to fight at 170,” asserted Camoes. “He could make the weight, but the physical loss would be too great. We have to respect GSP, who, besides being a great fighter, is a monster physically. The Canadian would have a considerable physical advantage if they fought at welterweight.”
“For me, this fight should happen at 177 pounds, which would be terrible for Anderson. It would be his first time at this weight in the UFC and we would have to implement a very specific plan for him to perform 100-percent up to his capabilities.”
“Right now, Anderson is between 203 and 207 pounds, already thinking about having to cut weight to face GSP,” said Camoes. “Anderson moving down 7 pounds and St. Pierre going up 7 pounds would be more fair to them, and for the audience to see a great fight.”
‘Don’t you see, 177 is already terrible for Anderson! Georges will already have an advantage fighting a depleted Anderson that that catchweight. Expecting him to cut to 170 is ridiculous!’
These are all narrative memes each side is trying to plant in our brains. In the end it doesn’t matter what the fighters themselves think. How superfight talks develop will largely be a reflection of what the average John Q. Affliction MMA fan believes. If he thinks asking Georges to go up half a weight class to facilitate The Greatest Fight In The History Of The Sport is unreasonable, then Georges can use that perception to control the debate. But if everyone decides 7 pounds is no big deal and Anderson’s drop to catchweight will already tax him, then it’s much harder for Team GSP to refuse the fight without major fan blowback.
So make no mistake: the negotiations are on. Whether anything will come of them depends on whose arguments gain more traction with the fans.