Middleweight champion Anderson Silva will be cageside in Montreal next week to watch Georges St-Pierre’s comeback fight against Carlos (Natural Born Killer) Condit.
“There’s no doubt that Anderson Silva’s showing up to cheer Georges St-Pierre on,” UFC president Dana White said in a media conference call Wednesday. “He wants him to win this fight and he wants to fight him after.”
St-Pierre, the UFC’s welterweight title-holder who is returning from knee surgery, dismissed any Silva talk, however.
“I don’t care about Anderson Silva,” he said. “He can do whatever he wants. He can go to Florida, stay in Brazil if he wants. I’m focusing on Carlos Condit. That’s all that matters to me.”
St-Pierre (22-2) meets Condit (28-5) in the main event of UFC 154 on Nov. 17 at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
A Silva-GSP super fight has been touted for some time.
The 37-year-old Silva, who holds the 185-pound title but has also fought at light-heavyweight (205) and St. Pierre, who campaigns at welterweight (170), are widely seen as the two best pound-for-pound fighters in mixed martial arts.
Silva (33-4) is 16-0 since joining the UFC in 2006.
White has said he expects the two to fight some time, probably at a catch weight somewhere between their two divisions.
He said such a fight could take place at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, Cowboys Stadium in suburban Dallas or a Brazilian soccer stadium.
“It’s fun to talk about this superfight but I’m sure it’s pissing Carlos off every time it’s asked,” said White. “He’s got to get through Carlos Condit first.”
Condit won the UFC’s interim belt in February, defeating Nick Diaz while St-Pierre was recovering from knee surgery. Condit is also a former WEC champion.
GSP was hurt in training last fall, undergoing reconstructive knee surgery in December. He was operated on by the same surgeon who repaired Tom Brady’s knee.
St-Pierre has not fought since winning a decision over Jake Shields at UFC 129 in April 2011.
“It’s a big deal,” White said of GSP’s comeback.
The 31-year-old St-Pierre, who has won nine straight over the last five years, is the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draw.
“The difference between Georges St-Pierre and every other guy that fights in the UFC is he’s got an entire country behind him,” added White.
St-Pierre says he did not think much of his performance against Shields. But the injury has given him a new appreciation of his sport and he feels reinvigorated.
“I like what I do but I forgot I liked it ... I lost a little bit (of) the fire,” he said.
Most bookies have made St-Pierre a 3-1 favourite to win, despite his lengthy layoff.
Condit, 28, says he is no stranger to being the underdog.
“Most fights I’m going into I put myself in that mindset,” he said.
“I like playing the role of the spoiler,” he added. “There are a lot of people in the sport and in the media that I think are overlooking me as an opponent for Georges and looking towards a superfight with Anderson maybe.
“I don’t feel like Georges is overlooking me but I’m excited to get in there, do my thing and hopefully change a lot of plans.”
Said White: “People are overlooking Carlos Condit and that’s a bad idea.”
The UFC boss says there is no chance Condit will fight Silva if he beats GSP. Instead Condit will take on the top welterweight contender.
NOTES — White dismissed the suggestion that the Montreal show was not doing well at the box office, saying the gate has already exceeded $3.1-million out of a $4-million maximum. But he conceded that $600 tickets might have been priced too high. “Times are tough out there, man,” he said.