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Dana White and the Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones topic
Take this for what it's worth, which is not much: UFC president Dana White hinted on Jim Rome's "The Jungle" show Monday that perhaps Anderson Silva would fight Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre in the near future.
"He wants to stay at 185, but I'll tell you, there's a lot of interesting things out there we could do. A lot of people have been asking for a pound-for-pound type fight, either against Georges St-Pierre or Jonny 'Bones' Jones at 205," he said.
"Him and Jones are both saying they don't want the fight, but," White said then paused, "we'll see what happens."
These quotes are in line with what he said in the media scrum after the UFC 148 post-fight press conference Saturday night. But here's what he said at the press conference:
"I don't ever tell guys whether to move up or down . . . As new contenders come up in the 185-pound division, unless Anderson Silva calls me up on the phone and tells me he wants to go to 205 -- I talked to him before, he did two fights at 205 and he said he didn't want to do it, he wanted to stay at 185."
Some contradiction, yes?
Should you choose to do so, go back and look at the quotes from after any Silva or St-Pierre fight (assuming it isn't one of those fights where White is mad at Silva) and the days afterward. You'll find similar contradictions. One time, it is about making the fight fans want to see. Other times, it is about cleaning out divisions and ruling individual weight classes.
Don't blame White here. He's a fight promoter and business man, and that means promoting his business to create the most hype and interest possible.
Fighters play a role in it as well. If Jones and Silva both publicly stated they wanted to fight each other, it would happen within hours and Twitter might actually implode. But there are public-opinion negotiations to be done first, and the more a fighter holds out, the greater the fan interest becomes and the greater the dollars on the contract become. The bonuses and add-ons as well.
Will a Silva super fight happen anytime soon? Not likely. Jones still has Dan Henderson to deal with this September. If he wins, then there's Alexander Gustafsson, Ryan Bader, Phil Davis and a few other possible contenders to consider down the line.
Look at it this way: If Jones beats Henderson then were to fight Silva and lose, what would happen to the 205-pound division? Silva would likely have to commit to light heavyweight and vacate the middleweight belt. Should Jones lose to Henderson, then does that Silva-Jones find still look appealing?
GSP still has to return from his knee injury and unify his actual welterweight title with Carlos Condit's interim belt. Plus, he wants to fight Nick Diaz, whose one-year suspension for marijuana in Nevada ends next February.
The 185-pound class right now is devoid of top challengers that can sell a fight. There are some top fighters, sure, but none that can yet match the draw of Chael Sonnen.
Michael Bisping is the closest one to Sonnen in terms of hype ability, but he lost his last fight -- to Sonnen -- and is healing from knee surgery.
Mark Munoz and Chris Weidman headline UFC on Fuel 4 this Wednesday, and whoever wins may not entirely be ready for a title shot. Munoz is closer than Weidman, but may have to go through Bisping first to get to Silva. That is, of course, assuming Bisping gets another fight first (Alan Belcher, perhaps?) and wins it.