It’s no secret that Anderson Silva has long been rumored to face decorated boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. in the squared circle.
Although UFC president Dana White has danced around the topic for years now, the bout seemed tantalizingly close when Jones Jr. was spotted octagonside at UFC 162 in July 2013, an event that may turn out to be the most influential title fight in UFC history.
Silva failed to take care of business like most predicted him to do, succumbing to a shocking second round knockout by current 185-pound champ Chris Weidman.
We all know the media circus that ensued. An immediate rematch was booked for UFC 168, and Silva unfortunately broke his leg in the second round of that fight. He went through a long rehabilitation period and returned to training, eventually signing on face Nick Diaz in the main event of January 31’s UFC 183.
All of that has Jones Jr. incredibly skeptical about the bout ever happening, and for good reason. The masterful pugilist recently appeared in an interview with MMA Fight Corner to express his respect and admiration for Silva as a person and a fighter:
“Anderson Silva is one of the best human beings I’ve ever met. He’s a wonderful friend, a wonderful person. A person, who like myself, when we succeed at something we want to try something else if we can. We want to see how far we can go. We want to test the skies to see if the sky the limit.”
Aside from his praise, however, Jones believes it’s a shame that the UFC won’t allow his proposed boxing match with Silva to take place, because it would undoubtedly be a showcase of legendary talents.
Jones has a firm suspicion that the UFC wants to keep “The Spider” from venturing outside of MMA:
“But on his downside, the UFC won’t allow him to fulfill his dream and get in the ring and enjoy a night of sharing the ring with the great Roy Jones, Jr.
It’s such a pity. It’s such a shame because it’s a night that I’m sure people from both worlds would really admire, and would love to see, and would get a lot from because of two legends in the ring at once. Although it’s boxing, we could share the ring together because Anderson can box. He’s a professional fighter too, and he’s an entertainer just as myself.
I feel really solid that [the UFC] won’t allow him to do that. But as a fighter, I think he’s a phenomenal fighter and I think he’s probably going to be one of the best UFC fighters to ever touch the planet.”
There could certainly be some truth to Jones’ belief, because the UFC recently signed Silva to an unheard-of 15-fight contract, an agreement that seems highly unlikely to be fulfilled for a 39-year-old fighter who has been averaging 1-2 fights a year for some time now.
Silva was also rushed to the hospital on Monday with a frightening lower back injury. While it proved to be nothing serious, that coupled with his previous ailments could signify Silva is inevitably declining as a fighter. He’s even admitted that it’s hard for him to throw punishing low kicks like he used to.
It happens to even the best, yet Jones thinks Silva can come back from his recent setbacks due to his unstoppable mindset:
“We fighters can’t think that we have the mentality of a fighter, we are fighters. So, there’s nothing that’s supposed to get in our way that we see as defeat. Nothing’s supposed to be a fear that we can’t overcome. And that’s same case with him. He’s a fighter so he knows how to overcome anything possible.”
Jones has faith in Silva, who recently said he wants to make another middleweight title run. But this time around, he’s already lost to the champion twice and the division’s upper level is packed full of dangerous and hungry competitors.
Are you predicting a momentous return to glory for “The Spider?”