Georges St-Pierre: Who's Got Next?

Georges St-Pierre: Who's Got Next?

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Mike Swick threw a stick in the spokes of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight division on Saturday night and he didn’t even appear on the card.

Swick, scheduled to face Martin Kampmann in a 170-pound contender’s bout, suffered a concussion while training at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif. Swick was replaced by British brawler Paul Daley and the match was demoted from contender match to “why not?” fight that figured to be interesting but wouldn’t move either guy up or down the ladder too far. It seems that no one told Daley that because “Semtex” looked like he was fighting for a title shot, laying a beating on Kampmann that led to a rare standing stoppage.

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva now faces a number of problems: the talented, marketable Daley doesn’t have the bonafides the UFC usually requires of its contenders (the operative word being usually), four of the UFC’s top welterweight contenders have already been wrecked by current champ Georges St-Pierre, and three of those contenders train together at AKA. There is only one solution to all of these problems – a welterweight grand prix.

The UFC abandoned the tournament format long ago and has never been keen on Pride-style grand prix tournaments, but they can ferret out top contenders and avoid asking AKA guys to fight each other by using the mechanism of a single-elimination tournament whether they call it that or not.

If FIGHT! Magazine’s standings are accurate the UFC’s top welterweights under GSP are Thiago Alves, Mike Swick, Jon Fitch, Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck, Dan Hardy, Dustin Hazelett, Paul Daley, and Anthony Johnson. That’s nine guys and of the top five, four of them – Alves, Fitch, Hughes, and Koscheck – have already been mollywhopped by St-Pierre. Swick has looked good while running off four wins at 170 and he’s the best the UFC’s got who hasn’t lost to the champ already so why not give him his crack this winter. The UFC has to keep belts on the market and GSP vs. Swick sounds like a great fight for the end-of-year card in Las Vegas.

That leaves us with eight guys: Alves, Fitch, Hughes, Koscheck, Hardy, Hazelett, Daley, and Johnson. Alves and Fitch are the only guys to take GSP to a five-round decision so let’s seed them one and two. Hughes is third based on his body of work and Koscheck is fourth based on recent stumbles. He looked great against Trigg but no one really expected Trigg to return as a contender at this stage of the game. So the top half of our so-called grand prix is complete.

That leaves us with Hardy, Hazelett, Daley, and Johnson in order. If we seed in true tournament fashion we’d get Alves vs. Johnson, Daley vs. Fitch, Hazelett vs. Hughes, and Hardy vs. Koscheck. Alves would be a stiff test for Johnson but the UFC isn’t averse to throwing young guys into the deep end. Daley vs. Fitch works because each would test the other’s deficiencies, namely Daley’s lack of a ground game and Fitch’s work-in-progress striking. Hughes would provide an opportunity to prove that he’s an elite welterweight and conversely, a win over Hazelett would be worth more than whatever Hughes is likely to do next (which I pray will not involve rematches with Matt Serra or Frank Trigg). Hardy would test Koscheck’s stand-up and Kos would present Hardy with serious problems on the ground.

If nothing else, these four fights would determine if former challengers deserve another crack at GSP and if the up-and-comers have skill sets complete enough to present the champ with a legitimate challenge, all while keeping AKA teammates away from each other.

What do you think Joe Silva should do?

17 COMMENTS

  1. GSP should move either up or down in weight class. He is almost too dominate in the welterweight division. He should either drop down to lightweight and fight BJ Penn, or go up to middleweight and fight Anderson Silva. If we really wanna get creative, get him up in the 190s and do a catchweight bout with one of the top light heavyweights.

  2. Personally I would not want to see Gsp beat Penn for a third time in a row. Waste of time and talent. Period. Moving on to Middleweight, I like that. But Gsp going straight for the crown against Silva shouldn’t be his first fight, I think Gsp vs Hendo, or Gsp vs Belfort would be good. Let the welterweight division battle it out for a couple months, while Gsp moves on to bigger, better competition.

  3. GSP is not required to fight larger men simply because he dominates all challengers his size, but he might. The eliminationation process through a tournament style event would inject interest in a weight division that is very much owned by the complete and always prepared champion. GSP brings more than physical to the ring, he has the mental toughness and the willingness to wait, take a hit and then explode a move or series of moves on his opponent that closes the show. I would be reluctant to see GSP go straight at the spider simply due to the familiarity in managing the weight in the ground game. To handel the other guy involves alot of dexterity. Mike Swick would be a walkover, but Nate Marquart might be interesting???

  4. I like this idea, but not the 190 lb catchweight.. he walks around maybe 185 lbs, maybe in time that could happen but not anytime soon..GSP and hendo would be an amazing fight..or even wandy v GSP, but noone seems to win in that fight for me.. I really wanna see fitch v hughes or fitch v alves 2 and kos v hardy

  5. I dont understand why St. Pierre would have to fight A.Silva right off. Silva hacent fought for the 205 title yet and he has had a few fights at 205 now. I believe he should take a fight at 185 to legitimize himself as a true P4P top fighter. Considering whose out there i belive there are several smaller 185’ers to choose from to get his feet wet. Why not start with an Ed Herman or even a Michael Bisping and go from there?

  6. I agree, moving to middleweight will present some more interesting fights for GSP. Then he can take on Silva with no problem. I dont believe Silva is the top p4p fighter, the fights against Franklin are being replayed every night. However, despite that saga I dont see a complete fighter when I look at Silva. Dana White might think otherwise, but thats a different story. Swick does not pose any threat to GSP. Kampmann, no chance. Who is this guy going to fight next?!?

    GSP vs Hendo
    GSP vs Fitch 2
    GSP vs ?

  7. Hendo vs Marquardt for no.1 contender, A.Silva vs Vitor for the title, St. Pierre vs Yushin Okami at 185 given that Okami wins his matchup against Sonnen.. And all 3 matches at ufc 108 january 2nd.. How’s that?

  8. I think if we look at it from the “big picture”, the sport, like any, should have a way to determine the best in the world.
    Regardless of any excuses or advantages, we simply need to see GSP vs Silva in a catch weight to make it as fair as possible.
    At the end of the day, this is the fight that everyone would like to see the most, postponing it will only create more and more chances that something might come up where this fight will never happen (injury, retirement, etc.) So lets all just get behind the inevitable and put pressure on the stupid ontario (i am from there so i can say this) government to change the laws, fill the rogers centre, and put on the largest event the sport has ever seen.
    Anything else would only be second rated to this super fight – why wait?

  9. Anderson Silva would bend Gsp over his knee and spank his french canadian A$$ while Forrest Griffin crys and runs off then Hendo comes to help Gsp then Silva does a Double flying knee to Hendos chin knocks him out for first time and it hurt so bad that
    Rich Franklin feels it and remembers his own experience of getting kneed in the face then you see Bj Penn Cheering in the crowd chanting SPIDER SPIDER SPIDER while Dana White is picking his nose thinking of who to send to get KO’D next . The End

    Thanks for Reading Folks (:

  10. gsp is the best overall fighter ever if he moves up or down he will win. but anderson will rock him. just because he has been in the wait class for a while.

  11. Just to add a tid bit to the Marquart GSP idea… They are training partners and even at GSP’s current weight, GSP throws him around! Their is no question that GSP should move up in weight class, but that will take time as he has always thoroughly prepared himself for any fight and in that situation he has some weight to put on!

  12. GSP vs Silva would be great. Even though he would be much smaller he would dominate with speed and take downs. Lets admit it, Anderson is techincal but not very fast. GSP would frustrate Anderson’s cocky A$$.

  13. Best possible scenario for the 170 belt would’ve been GSP vs Shields… but i dont see jake shields making an agreement with the ufc.. too bad.. Dan Hardy would be a good test for georges.. just a test though.. not much of a blockbuster fight anticipation-wise..

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