Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” GSP + UFC = Don’t Mess With A Good Thing
By Joshua Molina
Christmas came early for the UFC.
Georges St. Pierre’s return to the cage drew a reported 700,000 Pay Per View buys. That’s an amazing number and a great sign for the UFC going in to 2013.
UFC is apparently still the hottest thing on Pay Per View. By contrast, the WWE’s “Hell in a Cell” Pay Per View drew 186,000 buys. The WWE won’t draw more than 700,000 buys until next year’s WrestleMania, when The Rock returns.
The GSP vs. Carlos Condit fight obviously sparked a lot of fan interest, largely built around GSP’s return after a 19-month layoff.
That the UFC is able able draw this kind of a Pay Per View number says a lot about GSP’s star power. It’s also another reason to avoid a GSP vs. Anderson Silva fight.
If GSP can draw like this, the UFC should have him fight at least twice a year. Here’s a guy at the top of his game, as champion, at only 30 years old.
A superfight between he and Silva likely wouldn’t break the record of 1.6 million buys set by Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir.
But a couple of GSP fights would come close, without having to risk the GSP brand against Silva, a bigger fighter who would like defeat him.
Booking GSP vs. Silva now would rake in a monster Pay Per View number and big money, but it would be throwing away tens-of-millions of dollars in the long run.
Besides, both of these guys keep complaining about losing or gaining too much weight to make the fight happen.
They don’t want the fight. There’s plenty of money to make elsewhere, anyway.
As the UFC plateaus from an amazing 6-year growth period, it will need to maintain its big Pay Per View stars such as GSP, to give itself time to build new stars.
Who else can draw big numbers on Pay Per View? Chael Sonnen? Jon Jones? Cain Velasquez?
Time will tell. But for now, the UFC needs to keep keep hold of its GSP in a bottle, because once they let him out against Anderson Silva, they will never get him back in.