While the UFC tries to sort out the next challenger for the UFC light-heavyweight championship at UFC on Fox 4 on Saturday at Staples Center, one potential super fight appears to be staring all MMA fans in the face: UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones vs. UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Jones has already destroyed Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Brandon Vera, Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader, who will all be competing at UFC on Fox 4 to become the No. 1 contender at 205 pounds. Silva has made 10 successful title defenses at 185 pounds since winning the title in 2006. A super fight between Jones and Silva at a catch-weight would seem to be a natural, right? Silva's manager, Ed Soares, shot down that idea at the UFC on Fox 4 open workouts Wednesday at the JW Marriott hotel in downtown L.A.
"I mean, it makes sense yes and no in a way," Soares said. "Anderson is fighting a much younger guy, a much bigger guy and Jon Jones is going to be fighting a smaller guy who technically could be better than him. I can see why each guy wouldn't want to fight. What's the upside?"
The money generated by such a fight would be a pretty big upside.
"There's money out there regardless," Soares said.
"There is an upside, but if neither guy wants to fight what are you going to do? (UFC president) Dana (White) can't force a guy to fight at a bigger weight class. Anderson is the 185-pound champion. He'll fight anyone you put in front of him. Make Jon Jones make 185 pounds if you want that fight to happen.
"As of right now that's not a fight that interests Anderson."
Chris Weidman, Tim Boetsch, Brian Stann and Michael Bisping are among the potential challengers to emerge at 185 pounds. Weidman, who has five consecutive victories, has been quite vocal about his desire to be Silva's next challenger.
"It doesn't matter what I think," Soares said about Weidman as a potential challenger. "It really doesn't matter what I think. I mean, because he had an impressive win over Mark Munoz and (Demian) Maia? Sure."
That last "sure" came after a roll of the eyes and a pause. So what about former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. Last week, Diaz's manager and head trainer, Cesar Gracie, said Diaz would like to challenge Silva. Soares didn't immediately brush aside that possibility.
"Sure, we'll consider anyone the UFC puts in front of us. We don't have a choice," Soares said. "I think Nick Diaz is a good opponent possibly. People say he's a smaller guy, but he's a fighter that comes out and fights every time, so he's gonna put on a good fight."
The fight Silva truly wants is a bout against UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
"We could do it at a catchweight," Soares said. "Why put a title on it? It's the pound-for-pound title. Who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world?
"I think it (Silva vs. St. Pierre) is a bigger fight (than Silva vs. Jones). It's the biggest fight. The biggest fight possible is against Georges St. Pierre."
White announced Monday the Rua-Vera winner in the main event at UFC on Fox 4 would get the next title shot at 205 pounds, but switched gears after a backlash from fans. Machida and Bader meet in the co-main event and they have been added to the mix.
"When the fans speak, we listen," White said. "So whoever scores the best win, whoever gets the fans excited by going out there on Saturday and looking the most impressive, he will get the winner of Jones vs. (Dan) Henderson. It is down to what these four guys do Saturday night in the octagon. Winning isn't enough, they've got to win impressively. Any one of these four fighters can take things into their own hands and make a title shot happen."
Most of the outrage from the fans on Twitter and message boards was about Vera, who is 1-2 with one no-contest in his past four fights, being in the No. 1 contender fight.
"I think that part of it is more business related with all the social media, Facebook and Twitter, the Internet, you know, all that stuff," Vera said. "Dana cares about the fans. Dana cares about the fans opinions. If that's what the fans wanted, they got it. Do I care? Nah, I don't give a (darn). I just need to beat Shogun on Saturday night." ...
A pair of "The Ultimate Fighter" veterans will meet in a welterweight clash on the main card at UFC on Fox 4 when Season 1's Mike Swick takes on Season 9 finalist DaMarques Johnson.
"It's crazy that I'm fighting Mike Swick because as he was on the show I was like, "I like that guy. If I was anybody on the show, I'd be that guy,'" Johnson said. "I'd be the guy that just really wants to fight and that's it. That's kind of what I took away from him being on the show.
"Fast forward a couple of years. I was at a UFC and we bumped into each other at New York-New York (hotel in Las Vegas) and we ended up having dinner with him and his fiancee. I kind of picked his brain about the show before I had even tried out. It was one of those, 'Oh, maybe, I might do it.' I ended up doing it and now we're punching each other in the face for money in the UFC. It's kind of a weird, weird world we live in." ...
Here are the UFC on Fox 4 main card bouts on Fox at 5 p.m.: Rua (20-6) vs. Vera (12-5); Machida (17-3) vs. Bader (14-2); Joe Lauzon (21-7) vs. Jamie Varner (20-6); Swick (14-4) vs. Johnson (15-10). ...
Here are the UFC on Fox 4 prelims on Fuel TV at 2 p.m.: Cole Miller (18-6) vs. Nam Phan (17-10); Phil Davis (9-1) vs. Wagner Prado (8-0); Josh Grispi (14-3) vs. Rani Yahya (16-7); Phil De Fries (8-1) vs. Oli Thompson (9-3); Manny Gamburyan (11-7) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (13-11-1); and Ulysses Gomez (9-2) vs. John Moraga (10-1).
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