MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is confident that he can put together a mega-fight between pound-for-pound kings Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Jon “Bones” Jones, despite the two fighters' reluctance to face each other.
Silva, the longtime middleweight champion, and Jones, the light heavyweight king, have both said they have no intention to fight each other, citing mutual respect.
But Silva’s recent foray into the light heavyweight division, where he toyed with veteran Stephan Bonnar before winning via a first-round technical knockout, increased the clamor for a mega-fight with Jones.
At the post-UFC 153 press conference, White said he still believes he can put the fight together.
“There are so many options for (Silva) right now. He’s amazing. He never ceases to amaze,” White said, as quoted by ESPN.
“But he’s at this point in his career where there are super fights for him, I don’t know when it’s going to be over for him,” he added.
“But I know this: The Georges St. Pierre fight is a big fight. I think the Jon Jones fight is a big fight.”
Silva has said many times that he wants to face St. Pierre, the welterweight champion, in a mega-fight, instead of Jones.
“I have two fights on my contract and one of them I think will be against Georges St. Pierre,” the Brazilian champion said.
But a fight against Jones is out of the question for Silva.
“I don’t have any intention of fighting with him. I think he has a lot to do in UFC. I’m in a comfortable position and I am no longer a child,” Silva said of Jones. “I’m 37 years old. He’s a kid. He’s starting.”
White is confident that he can convince Silva to fight Jones, however.
“I know my man says ‘no, no, no’ to Jon Jones, but the amount of money that will be offered for that fight, he will say, ‘yes, yes, yes,’” White said.
“I’ll be negotiating with Anderson and his crew. He has a contract for two more fights and he said he wants to fight for five more years. I’d love to sign him to 55 more years,” he added.
But UFC fans are unsure if White can make good on his word, as Silva has insisted that he will not fight at the light heavyweight division again.