Saturday Could Be Georges St-Pierre’s Swansong at 170 Pounds

By Paul Friday, April 29, 2011
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager
Despite the fact that welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre continues to say he hasn’t made any plans for his UFC future and that he’s totally focused on this Saturday’s fight with Jake Shields at Rogers Centre in Toronto, rumors persist that the bout against Shields will be St-Pierre’s last at 170
pounds.

Then again, if St-Pierre is upset by the +300 underdog at Bodog’s online sportsbook who knows what the future holds for the Quebec native. He’s already said that a decision to move from 170 pounds to 185 pounds would have to be a permanent one – partly because of the muscle he’d have to gain but mostly because of the muscle he’d be forced to cut to fight again at welterweight. St-Pierre has seen the devastating impact cutting muscle has had on the careers of other great fighters and it’s not a career path he’s likely to follow.

“Right now, I am a 170-pounder,” St-Pierre said. “If I were to fight at 185 pounds, it would be a complete reorientation of my career. …We’ve seen [it] in the past with boxers like Roy Jones Jr. In my opinion, what ended Roy Jones’ career-winning streak, was when he went up in weight and tried to go back down. It’s not the fact that he went up; it’s when he tried to go back down that messed him up.”

Indeed, Jones moved up in weight in 2002 – more than 30 pounds – to challenge WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz. Jones won that bout by unanimous decision but in his next fight, Jones struggled
to get back down to his natural fighting weight. He didn’t look good in beating Antonio Tarver in a controversial majority decision and then was beaten by Tarver in less than two rounds in a rematch. It would be the first of three straight losses for Jones, who was never the same fighter again.

However, for St-Pierre a potential superfight against middleweight champion Anderson Silva might be too alluring to pass up. This week Silva said he envisions that bout on the horizon. If the two fought, it would once and for all show who the true pound-for-pound champion is.

"Georges St-Pierre is one of the best," Silva said through an interpreter. "He's shown that he's a great athlete, and I really train hard every day to fight the best. I do believe it's a superfight, and it's a fight that must happen someday."

Initially, UFC president Dana White was rather uninterested in promoting the superfight, but as fan interest increased, he changed his tune. White continues to refer to the potential matchup as a "fantasy fight."

St-Pierre opened as the -600 favorite at Bodog Sportsbook’s MMA odds with Shields at +400. However, solid action on Shields has moved the moneylines -500 and +300 respectively.

You don’t want to miss this one.
Desert Dog

I have followed the UFC for over 10 years, written as a handicapper, and spent my spare time as an online poker grinder. Unfortunately, I ran out of legal wagering options...Thank god for Daily Fantasy Sports and the much needed addition of MMA drafts. I offer my insight into MMA fight handicapping and fight analysis for the purpose of making some dough at DFS!

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