It would be hard to argue against Anderson Silva already being called the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
He’s been perfect inside the UFC with 16 victories, 14 of them by stoppage or submission, 10 title defenses, and more bonuses than anyone in the company’s history.
Silva’s accolades continue to grow, and even when stepping in to save an event on short notice like what he did for UFC 153, the Brazilian legend can still clown an opponent like Stephan Bonnar before crushing him with essentially one strike.
While Silva stands alone atop the mythical pound-for-pound rankings, the next two competitors behind him both stand as potential superfights down the road. For years, fans clamored to see Silva face welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, and now there’s another contender in that race.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has started his climb into the record books with four consecutive title defenses, and with one more, he’ll tie Tito Ortiz’s all-time record in that division. He’s also been a finishing machine over the last two years, dominating five former champions along the way.
Unfortunately, both Jones and Silva have stated in separate interviews that they really have no desire to face one another in the Octagon. UFC president Dana White, however, tends to disagree with them.
“I know this, the Georges St-Pierre/(Anderson Silva) fight is a big fight. I think the Jon Jones fight is a big fight. And I know my man says, ‘no, no, no,’ but the amount of money that would be offered for that fight, I guarantee you, I will make Anderson Silva say, ‘yes, yes, yes’,” White said following UFC 153 on Saturday.
Silva says it’s not about the money for him, and out of respect to his teammates that already compete at 205 pounds, he’d rather not challenge Jon Jones.
“Since I started training martial arts, I never thought about the money. I think everything I was able to get was because I always did it with pleasure and love because when I started there was no money in this. I don’t fight for money. Obviously, the money’s important, we all need money, but I don’t fight for the money. This is not something that I would like to happen because the times I’ve seen Jon Jones, he’s always mentioned that he would not like to fight, but we are UFC employees,” said Silva.
“I wouldn’t like this to happen because on our team we have (Antonio) Rogerio Minotoro (Nogueira), we have (Rafael) Feijao, we have (Wagner Prado) Calderon, we have other athletes in his division that can fight him. I’m getting old guys, I’m retired, I’m nearly there, I’ve only got another five years left, leave Jon Jones to them.”
White believes at this point, after working with Silva for the past six years, that he knows him pretty well, and the greatest of all time has always been most interested in one thing – challenges. You’ll never hear Silva boast that he’s the best of all time, or that he’s a great champion, but behind close doors he will readily admit he’s all about the toughest possible challenges, according to White.
Because of Silva’s desire to always fight the best, White is quite sure he can make an Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones superfight a reality.
“I will fly down here, I will lock myself in a room with Jorge (Guimaraes), Ed Soares and (Anderson Silva) and I will make this fight,” White stated.
The key to this whole situation unfolding comes down to timing. White stated earlier in the night on Fuel TV that the UFC wheel never stops spinning, and they have fight cards to fill, so they won’t hold out making a card because of a potential superfight.
If the stars all align though, White is sure he could make Silva vs. Jones a reality.
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