In an interview with Sherdog.com, Georges St. Pierre’s manager, Shari Spenser, let the cat out of the bag regarding St. Pierre’s future goals if his reign in the Welterweight division is deemed complete.
“He wants to leave a legacy,” Spenser said. “He wants to be the most dominant fighter the UFC and MMA has ever seen, and he intends to accomplish that by dominating the 170-pound weight class, moving up to the 185 weight class and then eventually the light heavyweight class.”
This should have fans excited for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we haven’t seen champions in lower divisions move up the ranks often. BJ Penn is a fighter who comes to mind when looking at the UFC’s roster of guys who have made the trek to higher weight classes. Penn fought in the lightweight division, welterweight division, and even fought a few Middleweight and Light Heavyweight battles. He’s pushed the limits of his skill through a span of nearly 50 pounds, and found success in most of those matchups.
The question is whether St. Pierre can do the same. He has one of the most diverse skillsets of any mixed martial artist in the world. His combinations of karate, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and overall great boxing skills are tough for any fighter to deal with. Can he bring that same quickness and level of skill to higher weight classes?
Anderson Silva or Dan Henderson could be waiting for him in the struggling Middleweight class. There is a reason that fans have mentioned Hughes or Pierre moving up to battle Silva. The division has a large gap between the title picture and the contenders. Pierre moving up to take on Silva is a solution to that problem, but also sets up future fights for Pierre if he wins. It’s no secret that both the Welterweight and Middleweight divisions are struggling, especially after Pierre’s domination of Hughes at UFC 79.
Pierre in the Light Heavyweight division is the most intriguing prospect from the quote. There are some very good fighters who have some strong skills that can counter Pierre. Before that even comes into play, Pierre must bulk up his physique and try to maintain his quickness to his advantage. If he can do that, he may be able to succeed against some of the middle of the pack fighters. It would be an unbelievable test for Pierre to take out some of the upper echelon fighters in the Light Heavyweight division, and it would definitely cement his legacy. We should all look forward to seeing Pierre’s goals come true.