There has been endless speculation in recent years about the possibility of UFC welterweight superstar Georges St.Pierre moving up to middleweight to take on Anderson Silva, but what has slipped under the radar is the potential for the Canadian to also move down to the lightweight division.
It might seem a far fetched idea at first glance, but according to GSP’s long-term trainer at the TriStar gym in Montreal, Firas Zahabi, it’s a realistic possibility.
“I’d rather him go down to 155 because Georges is not a very big welterweight,” Zahabi said on Sherdog Radio earlier this week. “People might think he is, he’s actually not very big. And him making 170 is extremely easy for him. Honestly, it’s probably one of the easiest weight cuts from all that I coach, and I coach a lot of professional fighters. Georges making 170 is getting a little too easy for him, so I’d recommend to him in the future, who knows what the cards hold, but if we don’t have a team member that’s champion or anything like that, I would recommend him to go down first before going up.”
The only thing stopping Zahabi from really pushing for this move is the fact that a team-mate of theirs is currently residing at the top of the lightweight heap.
“the only reason I don’t recommend it now is because Frankie Edgar is the champion, but I’d want him to move down to 155 if Frankie was not the champion. Obviously we’re part of the Renzo Gracie team and we’d never fight Frankie Edgar, because obviously we’re all Renzo Gracie fighters.”
It’s an interesting idea. I think overall there’s still a much stronger push from the fans to see a showdown with Silva at 185lbs, or indeed for example a 180lb catchweight, in order to establish who really is the best fighter in the sport, but I must admit I’ve always felt that it’s a fight that would favor the Brazilian simply due to the vast size difference between them.
On the other hand if St.Pierre moved down to lightweight I’d have the same reservations in reverse, with whoever his opponent would be likely to be facing a significant size disadvantage. It’s also questionable how many really blockbuster fights there are for him at that lighter weight.
It’s clear that GSP has major reservations about moving up to 185lbs though, and having stated that if he did go up in weight he’d have to stay up then a trip down to lightweight may be an option that appeals to him more and would offer him a fresh challenge away from the 170lb weight class which he has throughly dominated.
Overall my gut feeling is that it won’t happen, but it’s certainly provides food for thought.