Georges St. Pierre is looking to make a statement on April 30th, 2011. He'll be taking on the ever-game Jake Shields. A former Middleweight and Welterweight Champ, not to mention a man with more consecutive wins than the pound-for-pound boss Anderson Silva, Jake is no scrub. People may argue that those were "second-tier belts", but let's not forget that he has defeated notable fighters including Dan Henderson, Yushin Okami, Paul Daley, and Carlos Condit. All of those fighters are pretty well accepted as top 10 in their respective divisions. GSP is taking this fight very seriously and he rightly should be. GSP does not want to look beyond Jake Shields until he has decisively defeated him, leaving absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind who the better fighter is.
(This blog is not going to analyze the stylistic match up between the two fighters)
Presuming GSPis able to continue his streak of dominance, big changes will likely unfold in the following weeks and months. By beating Shields, St.Pierre will prove that not only is he unquestionably the best welterweight fighter we've ever seen, but also that he can compete with and defeat top middleweight contenders. The difference is that Anderson Silva is not just any over achieving contender...he is the MW Champ and consensus P4P king.
What options will Georges have if he is able to soundly defeat Shields?
1. Stay dominant at welterweight and see interest in his fights eventually deteriorate
3. Go into acting and fail miserably (did you see Never Surrender?)
I think the Superfight is going to happen and it will be sooner than later. If I had to pick a date I'd say 12.31.2011 but no later than summer of 2012. Georges would be better off fighting at least one or two MW fights before taking on The Spider, not only to get used to the new size but to gain some confidence and momentum. However, Dana wouldn't want to risk the chance of GSP getting Serra'd by somebody other than Silva.
St. Pierre and Silva's simultaneous success has resulted in quite the predicament for both fighters. They have all but cleaned out their divisions and reached the pinnacle of sports achievements. The only real difference is the age of the two. Silva can choose to ride out his career at MW. For GSP to expand his legacy and fulfill his goal of "greatest MMA fighter ever", he'll have to take on new challenges.
I'm not going to say that St. Pierre would unquestionably beat Silva. I'm not a complete fool. WhatI'm asserting is that a win over Shields will give him more confidence to move up even considering the inherent risks he'll be taking. Georges has the mentality, strength, and resolve to reasonably challenge and possibly defeat Anderson Silva. Watching him fight, we know GSPdoesn't like to take risks, but this is one where the stakes may be well worth it.
(By the way, this is my first blog on Mania so forgive any rookie mistakes)