UFC’s Jon Jones: “No interest” in Anderson Silva
What could be the ultimate fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship is not desired by either potential participant.
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones said Tuesday he has “no interest” in fighting longtime middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
After defeating Chael Sonnen Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Silva, 37, wagged his finger no to the idea of fighting Jones, 24, who will defend his belt Sept. 1 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas against former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson of Temecula.
“First of all, I will never go down in weight,” Jones told The Times in a telephone interview, pouring water on the idea of a neutral catchweight match. “Second, I have no interest in fighting Anderson Silva. He’s a guy I really look up to.”
Silva, 37, has fought at 205 pounds before, but he has said often in the last year that he wants to remain a 185-pounder.
Shouldn’t Silva move back up and give the UFC its own version of Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. – an all-action bout of fighters capable of spinning backfists, high-flying kicks and superb submission skill?
“Those are all questions for Anderson,” Jones said.
For now, the 6-feet-4 Jones (16-1) has his mind on Henderson (29-8), who is coming off victories over former UFC light-heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and mixed martial arts legend Fedor Emelianenko.
Henderson is a well-schooled veteran, capable of disciplined wrestling and possessing a powerful right hand.
“Dan Henderson is a great fighter, a legend, a great challenge,” Jones said of the 41-year-old. “But I have a lot of confidence in my wrestling and my kick-boxing is as good as it’s ever been.
“One of my goals is to be the greatest mixed martial arts fighter of all time. To be that, you have to beat a guy like Dan Henderson.”
Tickets go on sale Wednesday for Jones-Henderson.
Jones, in Los Angeles for Wednesday’s ESPN ESPYs ceremony, where he’s up for “Fighter of the Year,” said there’s another way to look at his disadvantage in experience against Henderson.
“A lot of times, experienced fighters are older fighters,” Jones said. “I’d rather be the younger, sharper, fresher guy with the stronger chin – the guy whose speed and quickness will win him the fight.
“If it was a golf tournament, maybe experience is an advantage. But it’s a fight.”
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