The most interesting parts of Wednesday night's UFC Primetime show were the ones that took us inside the training camp -- and the mind -- of welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. And although all of St. Pierre's focus is on defending his 170-pound title against Dan Hardy at UFC 111, I submit that the logical extension of St. Pierre's physical and mental approach for Hardy is an eventual move up to 185 pounds and a run at the middleweight title.
Physically, St. Pierre talked about training like an Olympic weightlifter, packing on 10 more pounds of muscle, and just getting bigger and more powerful. Although St. Pierre has never had trouble making 170 pounds, he's reaching the point where he could fight at 185 comfortably.
And in explaining his mental approach, St. Pierre offered the following quote from Michelangelo: "The danger in life is not to put your goal too high and never be able to reach it. It's to put your goal too low and be able to reach it."
If that's St. Pierre's philosophy, that doesn't sound like a man who wants to keep fighting welterweight challengers he should beat handily, like Hardy, Paulo Thiago or Paul Daley. And it certainly doesn't sound like a man who wants to beat guys he's already beaten, like Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves. And we already know St. Pierre doesn't feel the need to beat B.J. Penn a third time.
Instead, it sounds like a man who wants to fight opponents who would really challenge him. And the opponents who would really challenge him are the ones at 185 pounds.
Does that mean UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva? Right now, I can't see St. Pierre beating Silva, who's every bit as skilled a fighter as St. Pierre and a lot bigger. But I'm sure St. Pierre would love to try. And I'm sure he'd love to test himself against middleweights like Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort, who would give him a tougher fight than anyone at 170 pounds could.
And it's important to remember that Silva is more than six years older than St. Pierre. St. Pierre will be at the top of his game when Silva is past his prime, and when that time comes, I firmly expect St. Pierre to be the UFC middleweight champion.