Let the countdown to mixed martial arts (MMA) madness begin ... maybe.
If an eager Brazilian superstar has his way, two Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champions from different weight classes will meet in the center of the Octagon to battle it out with nothing but pride and legacy on the line.
Georges St. Pierre returned from injury to defeat Carlos Condit tonight (Nov. 17, 2012) in the UFC 154 main event from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In doing so, "Rush" unified his 170-pound belt and landed a date with destiny -- and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva -- for a possible clash between champions in 2013, most likely a blockbuster pay-per-view (PPV) event that will be held at a blockbuster venue.
However, if that was the script in the build up to last night (and it was), St. Pierre didn't really stick to it, while Silva continued to beat his drum louder in front of MMA media microphones.
Silva -- who was sitting ringside and even held an impromptu press conference hours before the main event -- respectfully didn't enter the Octagon after St. Pierre's victory to begin the promotional push for what very well could be one of the most anticipated, and important, fights in not just the history of the UFC, but the sport, too.
On the contrary, he sat on the sidelines, clapping and smiling. And rather than steal St. Pierre's spotlight, he headed backstage to once again make his uncharacteristic case for his next fight.
From a post-fight FUEL TV interview:
"I love it. It was good. Georges is the best fighter. Georges has control from all positions -- the ground [standing] up. I like it. This is a new Georges, I like it. Yeah [I want to fight him next], but it is not my decision. This is Dana [White's] decision. He needs to talk to Georges' manager and talk to me because this is the biggest show in the world. The fans in the UFC love it. Maybe this fight in the story of the UFC. This is my plan, but it is not my decision. I'm here to work for the UFC. I have my plans, Georges has his plans, but [we both] need to talk to Dana and Lorenzo [Fertitta]. That's it."
Tonight could have been the start of a very long, and exciting, journey to MMA immortality for either Silva or St. Pierre.
However, instead of losing his mind, accepting Silva's numerous offers, inviting him into the cage and setting the stage for the fight of a lifetime, St. Pierre (surprise!) played it safe.
"I know that Anderson Silva is here right now. But, I was just focusing on Carlos Condit 100 percent. I need to take some vacation and think about it, to see where I want to take my career. I want to make the best choice for myself, for the UFC and for the fans. But, I want to make sure I make the right choice. I'm going to have a talk with my manager and and my entourage about it and we'll see what is going to happen."
Certainly, for now, it appears that both champions are perhaps farther apart than expected on a potential showdown. And that could possibly be because St. Pierre just returned to 170 pounds, was punched in the head quite a bit and -- despite his dominance -- still has challenges left in the division.
As he has stated time and again, once St. Pierre goes up, he will most likely not come back down.
If it does happen, however, it is expected that St. Pierre and Silva will meet at a 180-pound, non-title catchweight "super fight" for the ages once all the dust settles and if the details can get done.
Stay tuned. This, remarkably, is seemingly just getting started.