St-Pierre's future could be at middleweight

St-Pierre's future could be at middleweight

Published Jul. 8, 2009 9:45 p.m. ET

Georges St-Pierre faces a stiff challenge for his welterweight title Saturday when he faces Thiago Alves in the co-main event of UFC 100.

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If St-Pierre earns his 11th win in 12 fights, it would add more fuel to the fiery talk that he should move up to middleweight. Victory won't come easy. Alves is a bigger welterweight than the champion, and also is better able than most to stymie St-Pierre's takedown ability.

Clearing out the competition in a division convincingly is a prerequisite for moving up in weight class, and beating Alves likely would cement that.

St-Pierre's run through the division received a big boost when he beat Matt Hughes at UFC 79. By finishing off the former welterweight champion for a second time, St-Pierre proved that Hughes no longer set the standard for champions.

At UFC 83, St-Pierre avenged his shocking UFC 69 loss by routing Matt Serra — validating that the "biggest upset in UFC history" was merely an aberration. St-Pierre would take the "dominant" and make it a theme in his next two fights.