(It’s the fight *business*, okay? It’s not the fight let’s-be-best-friends-and-attend-the-Paranormal-Activity-4-premiere-together-and-share-a-large-Sprite-and-”accidentally”-brush-hands-during-the-scary-parts.)
Could Anderson Silva be shifting his stance on a potential superfight with Jon Jones? In a new interview with SporTV, the Spider actually makes that match sound like a possibility for the first time, but only under specific circumstances — namely, if Jones accepts the fight first, and the fight is held at a catchweight, and his middleweight belt isn’t on the line. Still, that’s progress, right? Here’s Silva’s quote:
“People are talking about [a Silva/Jones superfight] so much that… I don’t have this ambition, this (fight) doesn’t motivate me, especially since they have other athletes in my team, such as Lil’ Nog, Maldonado, Feijao, Caldeirao (Wagner Prado), that are in his weight class. My weight class is 185, my belt is of that weight class. But people are talking so much about this, and we are employees of the UFC.
Of course, I could be saying that I don’t want it, but what if he goes out and accepts the money Dana is proposing for him to fight? It will be hard (not to accept it). It’s not the money that motivates me to fight, I fight because I like it. So, I don’t know. I wouldn’t like (to fight him). But if it’s going to happen, it would have to be at a catchweight. The belt shouldn’t be at play. I already have mine and I don’t want a belt to be left at the side.”
Jon Jones has been in this situation before, but on the other side of the equation. He and former training partner Rashad Evans originally vowed to not fight each other, until Jones switched his stance and stated that he would fight Rashad if that’s what the UFC absolutely wanted from him — which put Rashad in an awkward position. Now, Jones knows how Sugar felt. If Silva says he’d at least entertain the idea of fighting Jones, then Jones has to do the same or risk accusations of bitchassness. And that’s how superfights get made, folks.
Still, I think the biggest stumbling block to putting this fight together will be the catchweight that Silva mentioned. Since neither man wants to put his belt on the line for the match, it’ll have to take place somewhere between 185 and 205 pounds. And Jones — a future heavyweight who already cuts a lot of weight to make 205 — might not be interested in wringing out his body any further.
Meanwhile, Silva continues to blatantly duck Chris Weidman: “I don’t have any intention of fighting with [Weidman]. I still think he has a lot to do in the UFC. I am in a comfortable position and I am no longer a child, I am 37 years old, he’s a kid that is starting. Obviously, this might happen, but, I have two fights on my contract and I think one of them will be with St. Pierre and I don’t really have an intention in fighting with [Weidman] because I’m not a fool. I’m already an oldie, you know?”
At the end of the day, money is the greatest motivator in the fight business. And after a year marked by a conspicuous lack of blockbuster title fights, you can bet that the UFC will make any investment necessary to keep the Jones vs. Silva dream alive.