Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Time for a superfight: Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre



Time for a superfight: Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre
by rick olivares

Everyone loves a superfight. Who wouldn’t want a match to end all debates on who’s better?

That’s why there’s the UEFA Champions League where we get to see who is the top dog in European club football? That’s like watching Canada and Russia square of for the World Hockey Championships.

There of course, is the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight that has been talked about for years now and who knows if it will ever happen? Even if it does, both men are now several years older when all this talk first started and well, both will be far from peak form.

Now before those two pugilists get in on, what could happen way ahead of that is Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva is finding themselves in a cage.

St. Pierre showed little signs of rust in bloodying Carlos Condit and unifying the UFC’s Welterweight title. The Canadian is 22-2 and has a seven-match win streak. He’s 31 years old and looks to have put the effects of an ACL injury (that kept him out of action for more than a year) behind him. He looked darn impressive against Condit.

He remained non-committal afterwards about meeting up with the 37-year old Silva who has a 16-match winning streak including 10 title defenses. Both are records.

Now if the two face each other in the cage then that will surely break pay-per-view records.

While the Brazilian fights in a slightly heavier division, the middleweight, should the fight with St. Pierre happen, someone will have to move up or down a weight class. Both men thrive on challenges. Their places in MMA or UFC history are already assured but this fight is a legacy killer.

There really is no one left to fight and anyone else is like cannon fodder. You might say that there’s Demian Maiai, Nate Marquardt, or Nick Diaz who can fight St. Pierre but…

Ditto with Silva. He’s beaten Chael Sonnen twice and Vitor Belfort. Both are in the list of top challengers to belt that Silva has held since July 27, 2007 (or 2,227 days if you have difficulty breaking that down in 24-hour periods).

Some may also say that it’s a mismatch given Silva’s reach (77.6 inches to 76 inches) and height (6’2” to 5’10”). There’s also the age factor as St. Pierre is six years the junior of the Brazilian.

But who cares? Michael Jordan took down in succession the best of the NBA – Magic Johnson, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone and John Stockton. In between he feasted on the Cleveland Cavaliers of Mark Price, Larry Nance, Brad Daugherty, John Williams, and Ron Harper who were touted to be the next great team as well as the New York Knicks of Pat Ewing and the Miami Heat of Alonzo Mourning. Johnson was older when he faced Jordan in the 1991 NBA Finals, but he was still the king.

More than the six rings, the 10 scoring titles, five MVP Awards and whatnot, Jordan is acknowledged – and arguably if I my add – the best basketball of all time by taking down every single challenger in the NBA landscape as well as the Olympic arena.

Sure Fedor Emelianenko looked bad in losing three straight but he got his act together to win consecutive matches since losing to Dan Henderson in Strikeforce in July 30, 2011. Emelianenko likewise should have won 27 straight were his match with Antonio Noguiera declared a no contest after an accidental headbutt on his opponent.

That is why Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva should meet in the octagon. Emelianenko was 34 when he lost to Henderson (who himself was 41 during that match). Let’s get them at the top of their game and not when they look like they lost a step or two.

This one won’t just be a superfight but it will be a legacy fight.


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