For Georges St-Pierre, no pressure for superfight, so Johny Hendricks looms around August

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

NEW YORK -- A superfight pitting welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre against middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva continues to remain elusive, close enough to tantalize yet completely out of grasp. In a recent interview with Joe Rogan, St-Pierre, still relatively fresh off his victory over Nick Diaz last month, reiterated a desire to stay in his division for his next bout, which will in all likelihood result in a matchup with top contender Johny Hendricks.

But during that talk with Rogan, he also added an interesting wrinkle to the champion vs. champion talk, saying that it would be easier for him to fight at 155 than to bulk up and fight at 185.

Upon hearing that statement, UFC president Dana White was taken aback.

"At one point before his knee [surgery], he wanted that [Silva] fight," he said. "I don’t know where his head’s at now, saying he’ll go down to 155. He’s a pretty big dude. That’s interesting."

While White joked that the assertion would thrill lightweight champion Benson Henderson -- who has also joined the chorus of fighters asking to face GSP -- there is no interest in that direction right now.

White said he has not yet spoken to St-Pierre since his win over Diaz at UFC 158, but indicated the likely direction was the fight with Hendricks, citing August as a possible target date. That would line up around the time of the launch of new sports channel and UFC partner FOX Sports 1, though White didn't seem to like the idea of putting St-Pierre, who is the company's biggest pay-per-view draw, on cable TV.

Instead, it seems likely that St-Pierre will be back to his usual home on pay-per-view, defending his belt in his customary division. During his recent reign, St-Pierre has successfully defended the belt eight times, just two shy of the record of Silva, the man to which the sport's observers have been trying to link him for years. For the foreseeable future, it appears that champion vs. champion bout will continue to remain unrealized.

"If he doesn’t want to do a superfight, nobody is going to pressure him to do a superfight," White said. "That’s up to him. But Johny Hendricks is next. And soon."

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