On the heels of Silva’s 10th consecutive title defense against Chael Sonnen at UFC 148, questions were asked to the Brazilian about a move up to the light heavyweight division to challenge the youngest champion in UFC history. At the UFC 148 post-fight press conference, Silva simply replied with a “no” when asked if he would like to fight Jones.
A lot of people were disappointed by Silva’s answer, but thought maybe Jones would be willing to step up and push to make the fight happened. Those hopes were quickly washed away after the event when Jones tweeted he has no interest in fighting Silva either.
It was disheartening news to fans clamoring for the superfight. In a recent interview with ESPN, Jones went into further detail about why he doesn’t want to fight Silva. His answer, to say the least, was questionable. Check it out below.
“It’s not that he won’t fight me or I won’t fight him. To be dead honest, it’s – we both have a lot to lose. And we both respect each other a lot and we are both striving for personal greatness. I don’t want to crap on his greatness; I don’t want him crapping on my greatness. You know, we are in completely different weight classes.”
“We both have sponsor deals and things that are really important to us and a big part of that sponsorship package is being a winner, being a champion. And having us fight each other someone’s championship is going to go away. I respect Anderson Silva so much; I don’t want to be the guy to beat him. I don’t want to lose to him either; it’s a lose-lose situation.”
“If we were in the same weight class, it would be inevitable but it’s like ‘Dude, I’m dominating my weight class, you’re dominating your weight class. Some things were just not meant to be seen’.”
Jones was also asked what he would do if a contract with Silva’s name was put in front of him and he jokingly said he would have to be paid 50 million dollar, then right after stated he simply wouldn’t fight “his future mentor”.
This was really not a good statement for Jones to make in public. UFC president Dana White constantly says that he is going to make the fights the fans want to see, and Jones vs. Silva is a fight that nearly every mixed martial arts fans wants to see, but neither man is willing to make it happen.
It is a lot more understandable and defendable for say, teammates to not want to fight each other then what Jones explained. To refer to losing sponsorship money as a reason not to fight a guy, that’s simply absurd. Especially when it would be the biggest fight in mixed martial arts history to date and sponsorship money for both men would be through the roof.
The attitude of the light heavyweight champion regarding this situation is all wrong. He should be worried about his legacy and becoming the greatest fighter in the history of the sport, not concerning himself with what it might do to Silva’s legacy should he beat him.
With each passing day the fight is more unlikely to happen, as Silva is getting older and older. Hopefully, if the push from fans and media is strong enough, Dana White and the UFC brass will press the hands of both men and make the fight everyone in MMA so desperately wants to see.