On December 8, 2012, silence took over the homes of Filipinos all over Winnipeg and the world. Titos and Titas jaws dropped as they sat there stunned at the sight of what had just happened. Our beloved hero, Manny Pacquiao, one of the greatest boxers there will ever be, knocked out cold.
Like many of you, I am still getting over the shock of seeing Pacquiao face down on the canvas. As photoshop memes of the slumped over Pac-Man filled my facebook page…one where he’s getting a massage, another where Hulk Hogan is leg dropping him… I let my mind wonder if we would ever get to see him fight Floyd “Money” Mayweather. The luster of that marquee matchup is certainly gone. As would be the money. Not totally, but clearly not as much as it would be had Pacquiao been the one to knock out Marquez. Floyd wanted Olympic styled testing, Manny said yes and still no fight. Then Floyd didn’t want to go 50/50 on the fight, and Manny said no. Again, no fight.
Now the opportunity is lost. The UFC needs to learn from Boxing’s mistakes. Namely, to strike while the iron is hot. The rumor was that once Georges St-Pierre beats Carlos Condit in his return, the super fight between he and middleweight champion, Anderson Silva would be booked. Well, GSP did his part, however, he does not want to move up to middleweight yet, so that fight was never booked. Instead, GSP will face heated rival Nick Diaz. Anderson Silva is slated to face Michael Bisping next, but only if… and it is a BIG “if”… Bisping beats Vitor Belfort. If Belfort wins, he will not get another title shot, since he lost via first round knockout last time he fought Silva. The longer we wait for GSP vs Silva, the cooler the preverbal “iron” becomes.
However , truth be told, the fight most want to see is not welterweight champion GSP vs middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The REAL super fight is Anderson Silva vs Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones. In this case, both fights have said they do not want to fight each other.
Any way you look at it, people want to see these super fights. Both would draw huge money at the box office and on pay per view. In fact, the Ultimate Fighting Championship would be insane not to book these fights. If GSP loses to Diaz and Jones loses to Sonnen, then they made the exact mistake that boxing made in not being able to bring us Pacquiao vs Mayweather. Unfortunately, waiting too long is a mistake they have made in the past. By the time we got to see Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva the match was already irrelevant. It was a great fight, but still, irrelevant.
As fighters come up the ranks and new champions build their legacies, it could be a long time before UFC can book another super fight like GSP vs Silva or Jones vs Silva. So come on, Dana White, Joe Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva… strike while the iron is hot.