Last week, it was revealed that Dana White put the official kibosh on the proposed boxing match between Anderson Silva and Roy Jones Jr., due to its conflict with Silva’s UFC contract. In a new interview with the New York Daily News, Jones expressed disappointment at the way things were handled:
“I don’t see how it could discredit the UFC,” Jones said. “The guy has boxed before and he’s a tall, slick, left handed fighter. That gives everybody problems. It would be a good fight. As fighters we’re supposed to be trying to do things that amaze people and make history. This could have been something that people really wanted to see. I just think it’s wrong not to allow him (Silva) to get the opportunity to live out his fantasy to be in the ring with one of his heroes.”
Jones also added:
“If I had a high school wrestling background, I’d be willing to try that stuff (mixed martial arts),” Jones said. “But I’m lost on the ground.”
I’m still not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, Silva would get schooled in a boxing match with RJJ, and it would absolutely discredit UFC fighters in the eyes of the casual sports fan — many of whom already believe mixed martial artists are talentless brawlers who lack the skill of pro boxers. But then again, isn’t this the kind of thing that would help spread awareness of MMA and its stars on a worldwide level? And wouldn’t Dana White benefit from giving his stars a longer leash so they don’t all become disgruntled and leave the Octagon for freer pastures?