Many sports have had a single event define their legacy. Football had the Super Bowl. Basketball had the 1987 Finals. And MMA had Anderson Silva versus Georges St-Pierre – hopefully.
Mixed martial arts is on the brink of its biggest fight ever with the announcement by UFC president Dana White that welterweight champion St-Pierre is in line to face middleweight champion Silva in a super fight, if St-Pierre defeats Carlos Condit at UFC 154.
That’s a pretty diminutive “if” with St-Pierre priced as a -345 favorite over Condit in Montreal on Nov. 17. The 170-pound belt holder would have much different odds if - and when - he takes on Silva.
According to MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas, Silva would open near a -200 favorites versus St-Pierre. However, this isn’t the first time oddsmakers have crunched the numbers between these two MMA greats.
Kalikas opened low-limit betting on Silva-GSP for a while in the spring of 2011, when rumors of the super bout first started heating up. He priced Silva as a -240 favorite, which was bet down to -170 with St-Pierre coming back at +140.
“You have two of the best fighters of all time, so it’s tricky,” Kalikas told Covers. “The public supports both tremendously so we’ll get action on both sides.”
Two major factors play into Silva being the betting favorite. First, St-Pierre will have only fought once (at UFC 154) since recovering from a knee injury suffered in December 2011. And second, Silva has shown a killer instinct to end fights in knockout fashion, scoring KOs in his last four outings. St-Pierre has won just eight of his 22 career victories by way of knockout and has gone to the judges’ cards in his last four contests.
Not only would a matchup between Silva and St-Pierre draw massive attention, especially if they hold the bout in Cowboys Stadium in Dallas as discussed by White, but it would be a record handle for sportsbooks online and Las Vegas.
“This fight is capable of breaking records,” says Kalikas. “No (two fighters are) going to replicate that. This fight could contend with some of the bigger boxing fights or at least it would be the one fight that comes the closest.”
For now, MMA bettors can only sit and wait for the official word from the UFC. As any boxing fan, who has been waiting years for their sport’s superfight (Mayweather vs. Pacquiao), will tell you - nothing is certain until the bell rings.
Check more of Kalikas' odds and analysis at MMAOddsbreaker.com. Click here for the latest MMA odds.