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UFC 154:

Georges St. Pierre has reservations about likely fight with Anderson Silva

St. Pierre not pleased talk of a superfight interfered with Condit bout

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Associated Press

Carlos Condit, bottom, battles with Georges St-Pierre during their UFC welterweight title fight Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 in Montreal. A relentless St-Pierre celebrated his comeback by winning a five-round decision over Condit to unify the welterweight title in a bloody battle at UFC 154. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

UFC 154

Patrick Cote, left, from Canada, is knocked down by Alessio Sakara during their UFC 154 middleweight bout on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Montreal. Cote won the bout after Sakara was disqualified. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz) Launch slideshow »

MONTREAL — The rows of cameras and gallery of recorders could wait.

UFC President Dana White had more pressing business to tend to in his private room at the Bell Centre right after the conclusion of UFC 154. The promotion’s biggest star asked for a word.

Anderson Silva had a message to deliver to White.

“I’m ready,” were the first words out of Silva’s mouth.

Silva need not say anymore. After Georges St. Pierre scored a unanimous-decision victory (50-45, 50-45, 49-48) over Carlos Condit to defend his welterweight title for the seventh consecutive time, Silva’s wish was painfully obvious.

The middleweight champion wants what UFC fans have craved for years — “a dream fight” as White calls it against St. Pierre. White thinks it’s time to make Silva vs. St. Pierre happen, too, but made no promises and no effort to address rumors that it’s slated for May 2013 in the post-fight press conference.

White couldn’t have done any such thing because the last major obstacle in booking the pound-for-pound showdown sat to his direct left on the podium. St. Pierre remains the lone major player that hasn’t signed off on the idea.

The first mention of Silva aggravated the usually mild-mannered St. Pierre.

“I hadn’t even come back,” St. Pierre said. “I’m fighting Carlos Condit and everyone talks to me about Anderson Silva. This is disrespect for me.”

Considering St. Pierre was returning from ACL surgery for his first fight in 18 months, the amount of attention expended to Silva proved abnormal. The cameras panned away from St. Pierre entering the octagon before the fight to focus on Silva cageside.

Late in the fifth round after more than 23 minutes of St. Pierre at his best, a picture-in-picture sized box showing a live shot of Silva popped up at the bottom of the screen.

Silva refused to enter the cage to confront St. Pierre — “This is not me,” he said — but he did nothing else to curtail attention. Before UFC 154 began, Silva held a press conference where he talked almost exclusively about St. Pierre.

“My plan is to maybe have two super-fights,” he said. “One fight is Georges.”

Silva was agreeable to many suggestions, not even completely shooting down a hypothetical fight against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones that he’s long claimed would never happen.

But he said a potential Jones matchup was a long way away. St. Pierre is first.

Silva proposed 177 or 178 pounds, right in between his current 185-pound limit and St. Pierre’s 170-pound class, as the catchweight for their bout. Weight may turn into an issue, as St. Pierre would fight anyone in the world at welterweight but wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea of moving up any further.

“The thing about 177, I show up 177 and then the night of the fight I’m 185,” St. Pierre said. “He is maybe 205 or 210. I don’t know how big he is, maybe 225, 230 now. He’s a big guy. I don’t know how much he can come down. Not a long time ago, he used to fight in Japan at 168, which is smaller than me. Who knows? In time, the UFC can make magic things happen.”

Before the fight began, Silva showed little apprehension that Condit would ruin his plans with the upset. He picked St. Pierre to roll.

Silva’s fight prediction was as dead-on as his cobra-quick jab. St. Pierre successfully took Condit down in every round, opening a massive cut on the interim champion’s forehead in the first round with ground-and-pound strikes that dyed most of the octagon red by the end of the night.

Condit knocked St. Pierre down with a head-kick and right hand in the third round, but instincts took over for the champion. He used his grappling from the bottom to get back on his feet, out-struck Condit once there and then slammed him to the mat for a takedown.

That one-minute stretch alone showed the well rounded strengths in St. Pierre’s game. The humble Silva, who is unbeaten in the octagon, went as far as to say his only advantage over St. Pierre is experience.

“In my opinion, Georges is No. 1,” Silva said. “I’m very excited for my fight with St. Pierre.”

Everyone expects the bout to materialize despite St. Pierre’s hesitancy. Silva vs. St. Pierre has failed to come together before, but it’s never received this much of a push.

As soon as St. Pierre starts to heal from UFC 154, he should expect a call. White will ask for a word.

He’s got a message to deliver to St. Pierre. He’s ready.

“We all need to sit down and talk about it, figure it out,” White said.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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