Video: Josh Grispi Talks to Dr. Phil from Jail, Wife Defends Alleged Abuse

Josh Grispi, a veteran of the UFC and several other professional MMA promotions, is currently in jail awaiting trial on allegations of domestic abuse and a raft of other charges.

But that didn’t prevent Grispi and his wife, Kaitlyn, the alleged victim of that abuse, from appearing Thursday on the Dr. Phil television program to defend Grispi‘s actions and deny malfeasance (h/t MMAJunkie).

“It takes two,” Grispi said of the abuse. “Me and my wife have known each other for our whole lives. We’ve been dating since we were 13, and maybe we got too comfortable.”

Grispi declined to go into detail about the abuse or his wife’s injuries. However, when show host Phil McGraw asked Grispi‘s wife, Kaitlyn, whether Josh Grispi inflicted her injuries, Kaitlyn answered “Yeah, I guess.”

Also during the show, Kaitlyn Grispi exchanged angry words with her mother, Karen Fava, who she said is trying to “steal” her children. Kaitlyn Grispi‘s mother says she is trying to protect the children from Josh.

“Kaitlyn is totally obsessed with Josh, like a Charlie Manson woman,” said Fava.

The Grispis‘ downplaying of the problems would appear to conflict with law enforcement accounts, which depict a chronic history of serious abuse. Among the multiple allegations: Josh Grispi commanded his dog to attack his own wife.

“It’s the worst case of domestic abuse I’ve ever seen,” Middleboro, Massachusetts, police officer Richard Harvey said in an August article in the local Taunton Gazette shortly after Grispi‘s arrest, adding that Kaitlyn Grispi had been “chewed up” by the dog.

Grispi is currently in jail awaiting trial on 36 different counts, including domestic violence. When police searched his home following one of his arrests, they also found marijuana plants, cocaine and guns.

Grispi (14-5) fought four times in the UFC, losing all four contests. He last fought professionally in February 2013, when he lost a decision to Andy Ogle.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

Octagon Art: The 6 Coolest UFC Event Programs in History

I started collecting souvenir guides for Ultimate Fighting Championship events back when I first started covering them professionally.

It was not a conscious decision. Not at the beginning. The public-relations team always handed them out to those of us in the media center or put them in a stack for us to grab. I packed them away, took them home and put them in a stack on my office bookshelf.

Over time, that stack became larger, and it turned into something meaningful. As it grew higher, I would occasionally return to them, leafing through the pages and remembering things that happened in those specific events.

They were a trigger for walks down memory lane. I have not attended every single UFC event over the past six or so years as part of my job, but I have attended many of them, and I have many memories.

Today, that stack of souvenir guides is quite tall. It is heavy, too. I know this because I recently moved and I had to carry the stack to my car and then into my new house.

 

UFC 129

This event stands tall in my mind, because how can you forget the sight of 55,724 mixed martial arts fans filling a domed stadium for a UFC event? You cannot.

Back then, I worked for another outlet. We produced the UFC’s official pre-fight show. Hosted by Dave Farra and Megan Olivi, the show would run live for an hour before the main card started. It was something of a precursor to the official Fox pregame shows that currently air.

We would arrive at venues early in the morning on fight days, long before I needed to be there for reporting. And this afforded us the unique opportunity to see the UFC’s production team in full swing, setting up all the lighting and sound and machinery that makes a UFC event a spectacular thing to see in person.

The best part about this access was seeing the production team work out the kinks for each fighter walkout. What you see on television is a smooth and finished product, and you will notice that fighters often enter the arena at the exact moment a big hit or swell in their walkout music occurs. There is a reason for this. The production team has planned and coordinated it.

Early in the day, the team will go through each fighter’s walkout, paying attention to the co-main and main events. There is a production team member pretending to be a fighter. There is a production team member pretending to be Burt Watson, fighter handler extraordinaire.

The music is blaring,and the videos are playing, just like they will during the real thing. They hit their cues and take notes and tweak until it’s perfect.

In the empty Toronto Skydome, this effect was magnified. For the first time, the UFC used custom walkout videos, synced to the music.

The first rehearsal I saw was that of Lyoto Machida. There was a long Japanese-style introduction, and then the Japanese characters on the giant video screens on either side of the Skydome slowly morphed into two words: The Dragon. Machida’s music, something by the rock band Linkin Park, blasted throughout the stadium. Chills ran through my body.

Randy Couture’s walkout was next, and it was an epic one: For the final bout of his career, he’d chosen “Lunatic Fringe,” a classic song by the band Red Rider from the wrestling movie Vision Quest. Couture’s video package proclaimed him as The Natural. Again, chills ran through my body.

Hours later, the event began. Couture and Machida had epic walkouts, but the winner for best walkout went to Mark Hominick. “Coming Home” is overused these days, and perhaps it was even then. But Hominick’s video package, with snow falling gently over his name, was absolutely perfect. It was emotional, and it was a moment I’ll never forget.

If you asked me to name my favorite UFC event of all time, it is likely I would tell you UFC 129. I don’t know when the UFC will return to stadium shows, but I know that I will be there, because it is hard to replicate that kind of moment in a smaller arena.

The Program: It is gorgeous. It is not the first time the UFC’s art department draped its main-event stars in the flags of their home country, and it certainly was not the last. But it’s the first time I can remember the UFC creating a custom program for an event, using the matte cover that has become synonymous with special programs like this one.

Prior to UFC 129, all event programs were the same: the same paper, the same size and with the event poster on the cover. This one was different. It feels luxurious. It made UFC 129 feel like a special event.

That is appropriate, because it was a special event.

UFC 148

UFC 148 was meaningful for me, and I’ll explain why.

During UFC 117—the event that featured the first bout between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen—I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t focus on the fights, much less on the work I was supposed to be doing. And by “a lot of pain,” I mean the worst pain I’ve experienced in my life. It was like somebody was cutting my insides with razor blades.

Even through that pain, I could tell I was watching a masterpiece fight between Silva and Sonnen. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have, because I wanted to die. I wanted the agony to be over.

After the fight, and after Silva’s amazing triangle win when he was on the brink of losing his title, I made my way to the post-fight press conference. I couldn’t focus. I was sweating.

I wanted to stick around and see what Sonnen had to say about the loss; he’d spent so much time talking trash about Silva, and then he went out and did exactly what he said he was going to do: He beat Silva from pillar to post. But then he lost, and I wanted to know how he was handling it.

But I couldn’t. I had to leave, and my boss gave me permission to go back to the hotel. I did so but only after waiting for a BART train for what seemed like hours. My pain was getting increasingly worse. I went back to the hotel and tried to sleep, but it wasn’t going to happen.

Finally, in the middle of the night, I made the decision to go to the hospital. My boss and my buddies piled me in a car, and we drove around downtown Oakland, looking for a hospital.

We finally found one. It turned out I had the worst kidney stones you could imagine. There were so many of them that they actually looked like sand.

I spent three days in that Oakland hospital. And so when I think back to that Silva/Sonnen fight, the first thing I think about isn’t that magical fight. I think about the pain. So when the rematch rolled around at UFC 148, I couldn’t wait to see it unfold, because I’d be pain-free and able to concentrate.

My enduring memory from UFC 148 comes from the weigh-ins. It was an International Fight Week, which meant a ton of fans from around the world flocked to Las Vegas for several days of UFC-related merriment. I am not a fan of the UFC Fan Expo. Not at all. I’ve been to all of them at this point, and they have grown long in the tooth.

But without all of those fans here in Vegas for the Fan Expo, there would not have been the atmosphere at the weigh-ins. The Mandalay Bay Events Center, normally cut to a third its regular size for weigh-ins, was almost completely full. It was electric.

Thousands of Brazilian fans had traveled to Vegas for the event, and they were issuing full-throated support for the middleweight champion. There were giant Brazilian flags around the arena. I took my customary seat at the back, near the top of the arena, because I like to take everything in and see the crowd’s reaction.

The crowd’s reaction when Silva first got in Sonnen’s face and then bumped the challenger, hard, in the face with his shoulder? Priceless. The rematch itself did not deliver, with Silva slaughtering Sonnen, but the atmosphere made it memorable.

The Program: It utilizes a matte finish on the simple cover, which features “Silva vs. Sonnen” running vertically and the UFC 148 logo running horizontally. I like the simplicity of it, because fight merchandise often runs on the garish side. This program is subdued and gorgeous.

 

UFC 162

The great Anderson Silva was facing his strongest challenger to date. Chris Weidman, one of the UFC’s hottest prospects in years, had all the tools to beat Silva.

That’s what a lot of folks thought. Me? I thought Silva would run right through Weidman. He’d made it look easy. Most of my fellow media members—very smart men and women, mind you, some of whom have been covering the fight game for a long time—had picked Weidman. I thought they were crazy.

I was wrong, of course. And my enduring memory from that night was the moment I realized Weidman had knocked Silva out, and the reign of the greatest fighter in history was over. And I realized what a privilege it was to be there, sitting 15 feet away, as Weidman celebrated his win. It was one of those moments—and there are many—that made me grateful that I get to do this for a living.

The Program: This one is notable because of the size. It is quite a bit larger than even the UFC’s previous special event programs. It’s glossy, with an embossed gold event logo. The front features a page-filling photo of Silva, and the back features Weidman.

UFC 167

UFC 167 fight week centered around a single question: Would Georges St-Pierre’s title defense against Johny Hendricks be his last?

We media members heard the rumblings all week. We heard St-Pierre’s heart wasn’t in the fight game anymore. He played things close to the vest during interviews, but the talk was out there, and there was a general sense that there was something to it.

We also felt he’d earned the right to call his own shots. If St-Pierre wanted to walk away after a win (or even after a loss), well, that was his decision to make. He owed the UFC nothing, and he owed the fans even less. He was always a unique creature, with certain tics and traits that are not very common in the fight game. If he wanted to go back to Montreal and stay there and enjoy the spoils of his career, that was his choice.

In retrospect, of course, we were right. St-Pierre did walk away after a closely contested title defense against Hendricks. He gave up his championship belt and walked to the sidelines and has remained there ever since. We’d like to see him return because he’s one of the greats of the sport, but it has become increasingly clear that a return is likely not in the cards.

And if he does stay away, I cannot blame him one bit. He has earned that right.

The Program: It is once again a matte cover, with lots of gold embossing and a stellar piece of art depicting St-Pierre and Hendricks punching each other. The UFC went through a phase where it used a variation of this art for nearly every fight, and it would become old news. But when this event poster was released, it was new and gorgeous.

UFC 168

Unlike the first bout between Silva and Weidman, I knew going into the second bout that Weidman had a chance. But I still believed Silva to be the heavy favorite; I viewed the Weidman knockout in the first fight as an aberration that occurred largely because Silva didn’t take Weidman seriously. If he hadn’t danced, he wouldn’t have been caught with that punch. The fight would have gone differently.

I’ll never forget UFC 168, and I’ll never forget the sound of Silva’s leg breaking when Weidman checked his leg kick. I’ll never forget him screaming in pain. I wrote about my feelings that night, and they remain the same: This was only memorable in a horrific way.

On that night, I figured Silva’s career was over, and that made me depressed. Thankfully (or perhaps regrettably), he is returning next year. The chilling ending of UFC 168 was not the end of Anderson Silva.

The Program: I particularly like this program for one reason: Most of it is matte, but the large photos of Silva and Weidman are glossy. It is a good usage of varied media to create something that stands out. On the back, the same treatment is given to Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. It’s a beautiful program.

 

UFC 175

I’ll never forget UFC 175 fight week because of, to put it bluntly, B.J. Penn’s weird performance against Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter finale the day after UFC 175 proper. Penn’s upright stance and out-of-character style will serve as my enduring memory from another International Fight Week filled with fan expos and concerts and more.

The Program: I like this one, and it serves as a good bookend to my UFC 129 selection earlier. It is glossy and features Weidman, the middleweight champion, covered in American flag art on the front. On the back, challenger Lyoto Machida is covered in the Brazilian flag. It was a perfect piece of art for yet another USA vs. Brazil outing.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

UFC Needs to Create Absolute Rules Governing Injuries, Title Defenses

I’ve been thinking about championships lately.

More specifically, I’ve been thinking about championships and how, given the multiple injuries suffered by UFC title-holders in recent years, we are nearing a time when the Ultimate Fighting Championship should create set-in-stone rules on how to deal with champions who are on the shelf for an extended period of time.

Call it the Dominick Cruz Rule.

It is no fun, the idea of stripping a champion of the belt he fairly won. And I don’t make this suggestion lightly. But Cruz, Cain Velasquez and other injury-prone champions of the past five years have left the UFC scrambling to create main events with either no championship belt at stake or with a meaningless interim title on the line.

I used to think championship fights added an extra bit of pizazz to a fight card. And perhaps a few thousand viewers, too.

But the flyweight division and champion Demetrious Johnson, well, they’ve proven that theory to be a false one. Johnson hasn’t been able to connect with a pay-per-view audience yet, even though he is one of the world’s best fighters and a pure joy to watch in the Octagon. His championship fights don’t have the kind of allure the rest of the champions do.

So I don’t make this suggestion today based on any fancified notion that championship fights add intrigue to all pay-per-view cards. Big title fights help out, yes, but not all title fights are big.

Instead, I’m making this suggestion because I hate the idea of holding up a division for a year or two years or, in some remote cases, even longer while a champion heals. Because as much as I hate the idea of stripping someone of a belt they rightfully won, I hate even more the idea of talented and tough fighters not earning their own opportunities because the champion cannot stay healthy.

Here’s what I came up with: Two rules governing how often a title must be defended. In my perfect world (which exists only in my head), these rules would be written into every UFC fighter’s contract on the chance they do win a championship.

 

1. If you can’t defend your title once in 18 months, an interim title will be created. Upon your return, you will fight in a title unification bout.

This is self-explanatory. If you are on the shelf and can’t defend your title one time in 18 months, an interim title will be created and two of the division’s top contenders will be matched together to determine the interim champion.

Once you are healthy enough to return to the Octagon, your first fight will be a title unification fight against the interim champion. But if your 18 months without a fight rolls into 24 months, then we move on to the next rule.

 

2. If you cannot defend your title once in 24 months, you will be stripped of the championship. You will have the option of a title fight in your immediate return, or you may take a “tune-up” fight before doing so.

This is not ideal, and I understand many won’t agree with the notion of completely wresting control of a title away from a champion simply because he can’t stay healthy. But two years away from the Octagon is a long time. And it’s an even longer time for a division to ebb and flow without a championship to strive for.

Velasquez last competed on October 19, 2013. According to my new rules, Velasquez would not have been stripped of his title for being out of action for 12 months. Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt would compete for the No. 1 contender spot, but no interim title would be created. But because the UFC needs a selling point for their first trip to Mexico, they created a meaningless interim belt.

If Velasquez can’t return after 18 months—and given his history, there are no guarantees he’ll even see the Octagon in 2015 at all—then you’d move to create an interim title.

These rules aren’t ideal. In a perfect world, we’d have less injuries to all UFC fighters. Not just the champions. But because the UFC engine needs to continually move forward, there needs to be rules in place to govern how often title defenses take place.

As terrible as it must be for a champion to lose his or her belt without actually competing, it is even worse for the rest of the fighters in their division to continually strive for something that will remain just out of their reach as long as the fighters ruling their division remain on the sidelines with injuries.

It is time for the UFC to verbalize some form of these rules so that every fighter on their roster knows what to expect when they win a championship.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

Luke Rockhold Has Found His Rhythm, Eyeing Championship Run in 2015

It doesn’t take much observation to notice Luke Rockhold is a very talented fighter.

As a prospect on the rise, the American Kickboxing Academy staple steamrolled his way through the Strikeforce Challengers series and garnered enough respect and attention along the way to earn a shot at the promotion’s middleweight title. The Santa Cruz native would go on to earn the 185-pound strap by edging out former grappling world champion-turned-MMA-powerhouse Ronald “Jacare” Souza in a five-round war back in 2011.

The fight proved there was more to Rockhold than his poster-boy presentation.

While he would go on to make two successful defenses of his middleweight crown, bigger questions loomed as to how the rangy striker would handle the level of competition once he stepped inside the Octagon. Being a man motivated by tall challenges, the 30-year-old Californian jumped into the deep end of the pool by facing Brazilian knockout artist Vitor Belfort in his official UFC debut in May 2013. Mixing it up with The Phenom is a tall task by any measure, and Rockhold admitted he mishandled the situation.

Rather than ease into the fray and rely on his skill set, he became borderline obsessed with proving a point. He was fighting a legend of the sport—a resurgent one at that—and a victory over Belfort would provide the ultimate “told you so” to a fanbase that had questioned Rockhold’s talents. Yet, with those elements simmering and the rivalry that heated up between the two fighters, Rockhold simply got caught up.

And it showed in his performance that night in Brazil.

While suffering the first-round knockout loss to Belfort—his first defeat in nearly six years—would create frustration, it also forced Rockhold to examine what he did wrong going into that fight. He had never competed on emotion before, and it proved to be costly. Therefore, he worked diligently to find the mindset and rhythm that had yielded previous success, and his next two performances were great indicators that he found what he was searching for.

“The loss to Vitor really gave me perspective,” Rockhold told Bleacher Report. “I sat back and thought about everything and what I did going into that fight. It would come out in sparring and in the gym. I would start sparring and think about how I fought him compared how I fought other fights. I got upset with myself because that’s what happens when you lose, and one of my sparring partners helped me realize what was happening. 

“I’m a fighter, and when I get hit, I get angry sometimes. I want to brawl. I want to get in there and get aggressive. And that’s when I’m at my worst. That’s how I fought Vitor and even how I fought Tim Kennedy. I got overly aggressive and didn’t use my technique, and those things showed in the fight.”

The surging contender would go on to earn back-to-back first-round finishes over Costa Philippou and Tim Boetsch, silencing any lingering talk that he wasn’t back to form. And with his next challenge coming in the form of a bitter rivalry with Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 55, the former Strikeforce champion isn’t allowing anything to break him out of his groove. All the talk between the two fighters is just chatter, and Rockhold is ready to handle business in Sydney, Australia on Nov. 8.

In sparring, I really practiced being patient and being more of a sniper rather than getting in there and trying to take the guy’s head off,” Rockhold said. “I’ve always been tough, and I work hard. I have a lot of natural ability, and that’s how I win fights. When I relax and use my abilities, that’s when I’m at my best. When I fight my fight rather than push the action. I realized this in training, and I’ve worked to keep that mindset, every day and every second in the gym.

“I needed to let it go and relax. Just go in there and do my thing. If you look at my past fights through Strikeforce and the two since Vitor, there is a different kind of calmness and relaxation. That is how it is going to be from now on. And figuring that out is why I believe I’m starting to reach my potential.”

While the back-and-forth between Rockhold and Bisping has been the most showcased angle of the matchup, the future title implications of their upcoming bout is also a major storyline. The Count has been a perennial contender over the past several years but has failed to get over the hump in big fights. That said, a victory over Rockhold would put the brash Brit’s title hopes back on track, placing him within striking distance of earning a championship opportunity.

On the flip side, defeating Bisping at Fight Night 55 would potentially put Rockhold in position to get the next shot at the middleweight title. He’s won 11 of his last 12 bouts heading into Sydney, and a victory over The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 winner would make it three consecutive wins over tough competition.

Nevertheless, Rockhold is taking a realistic approach to the situation. He believes he’s deserving of a title opportunity with a win over Bisping, but he would understand if the UFC requires him to take one more fight before giving him a crack at middleweight gold. 

“It’s an interesting situation in this division,” Rockhold said. “I could see myself getting the next shot with a win over Bisping, but I could also see me being realistically at least one more win away. I’ve beaten some of the top guys in the world. I beat Kennedy and “Jacare” while we were in Strikeforce, and they’ve come over to the UFC and have done some big things. I’ve lost one fight, and it was to Vitor Belfort. I got caught with a spinning heel kick. I’m going to beat Bisping, and I’m going to do it in spectacular fashion. Then whatever they want to give me they give me.

“I’d be happy to prove myself again to become the No. 1 contender. If you look at my body of work and what I’ve done in the UFC, then I probably should fight one more before getting a title shot. But if you look at what I did in Strikeforce and put everything together with my wins in the UFC, then in that case I believe I should get a title shot with a win over Bisping.

“If you look at the total perspective, I don’t think anyone else in the division is more deserving of a shot than I am. But if it’s taken from a purely UFC standpoint, then I probably should fight one more.”

And therein lies the renewed patience of Rockhold. Despite a rising profile and the biggest grudge match of his career looming on Nov. 8 in Australia, he’s willing to take things as they come because that’s when he’s at his best. Forcing the action and aggression has only led to trouble in the past, and he’s nothing if not a student of the game he’s attempting to master.

Yet, make no mistake about—the tension between Rockhold and his upcoming opponent is very much real, and he has every intention of making a statement at UFC Fight Night 55.

“I feel good, and this is a great fight for me to showcase my skills,” Rockhold said. “There is nothing more I want in this world than to put my foot across Bisping’s face.”

 

Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

Can Georges St-Pierre Pass Anderson Silva as MMA’s GOAT If Both Return in 2015?

For the moment, there is little debate over who is the greatest MMA fighter of all time.

Anderson Silva is the GOAT and has been for some years now, after building a resume that not even two disastrous losses to Chris Weidman could undercut last year. With current stars like Jon Jones and Jose Aldo still building their cases and legends like Royce Gracie, Matt Hughes and Fedor Emelianenko fading further into the past all the time, Silva’s claim to the throne appears safe.

Or does it?

With The Spider set to return to the UFC in January and reports that Georges St-Pierre is also training for a potential comeback, could the mantle of greatest of all time actually be up for grabs during 2015?

Maybe, if things work out a certain way.

Here’s what we know for sure: When Silva reappears at UFC 183, it will be against welterweight Nick Diaz, not Weidman. In fact, despite claims he re-upped on an insane new deal with the UFC over the weekend, the former middleweight champion appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach to reclaiming his title.

If it happens, it happens, Silva seems to say. If not, no big deal.

Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White confirmed last month that St-Pierre would likely qualify for an immediate shot at the 170-pound championship, if and when he returns.

So imagine, if you will, a scenario where St-Pierre emerges from his self-imposed hiatus and promptly wins back the welterweight title he never lost. It would mark the French Canadian phenom’s third run with the 170-pound belt (not counting his short stint as interim champ in 2007-08), extend his unbeaten streak to 13 fights and reaffirm his position at the top of a division he’s dominated fairly comprehensively since 2006.

Oh, and it would also likely re-establish him as the biggest pay-per-view draw the sport has ever known. So, not too shabby.

Meanwhile, Silva returns at 39 years old and is coming off back-to-back losses. His bout against Diaz seems specifically designed to earn both fighters a lot of money and get Silva back in the win column via a short-and-sweet knockout. But it won’t be a particularly relevant affair—barring the unlikely event of a Diaz victory, that is.

We also know Silva will coach a season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil opposite Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, a decision that could keep him off all but the most hardcore fans’ radar for a few months next year. He and Rua won’t fight each other when the show wraps, so Silva’s future beyond Diaz is entirely uncertain.

He might jump back into the thick of the 185-pound title hunt, or he might not. It’s possible he spends the twilight of his career picking off more-or-less handpicked opponents in high-profile superfights that end up looking pretty but don’t necessarily amount to much besides some big paychecks.

There’s also the possibility that, if he did indeed works his way back into a third fight with Weidman, he might lose. Again.

Not saying any of the above would put St-Pierre leaps and bounds ahead of Silva in the pantheon of our sport’s great fighters, but it might at least necessitate a change in conversation.

Even before both their careers were unexpectedly interrupted at the end of 2013, the argument for Silva over St-Pierre was always a close one.

Silva is six years older and has been an active fighter four-and-a-half years longer, but GSP had been in the UFC for two-and-a-half years and eight fights before the Brazilian arrived. Their career records are eerily similar—especially considering GSP lost significant time to a knee injury in 2011-12. Silva stands at 33-6 overall (16-2 in the UFC), while St-Pierre is 25-2 (20-2).

Previous to 2013, you could’ve held GSP’s two Octagon losses to Hughes and Matt Serra against him, but Silva’s more recent defeats to Weidman make them a moot point.

Fans would likely tell you Silva was more dominant throughout his career, because his knockout-friendly striking style has always been easier to embrace. He also had success in different weight classes, first as a welterweight early in his fighting days, later against middling light heavyweight opponents in the UFC. Then again, he also cooked up a couple of middleweight stinkers back in 2008-09.

Meanwhile, St-Pierre fought arguably the tougher overall slate of opponents and dominated the rest of the best welterweights in the world without so much as losing a round for as many as nine fights running.

Silva survived a close call against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117, while St-Pierre had one against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.

The truth of it is, there’s not much separating these two, even now. It’s close to a push, with Silva holding a slim edge for GOAT status based mostly on style points.

That makes 2015 seem sort of important. What if GSP returns firing on all cylinders and The Spider appears in decline? Could he pass Silva on the list of all-time greats?

Obviously, many things could still happen to change this argument. Silva could return looking reinvigorated and once against rule the 185-pound division with extreme prejudice. St-Pierre could prove to be a lesser version of himself, in the wake of a second major knee surgery during 2014. Or he might not return at all.

Or, just to make things even more complicated, the long-discussed superfight between the two could finally become a reality.

Perhaps it’s too early to tell with any certainty what will occur, but if both Silva and St-Pierre end up returning to the Octagon, the discussion about who is the greatest of all time might be a lot more interesting than it has been in years.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC