MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones insists he does not need to fight middleweight king Anderson “The Spider” Silva, but is not ruling out a mega-fight with the Brazilian legend.
Fight fans have been clamoring for a mega-fight between Silva and Jones, who are considered the two top fighters in the UFC, pound-for-pound.
Both Silva and Jones have repeatedly expressed their reluctance to fight each other, however.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Jones said that the fight “can happen,” but stressed that he was not actively seeking a fight against Silva.
“I’m not saying that the fight will not happen. It can happen. But it’s not something I’m chasing,” Jones said.
“I don’t believe that I need to fight with Anderson to be the best in the world,” he added.
Another factor that prevents the fight from happening is the strong mutual respect between the two fighters.
“I respect (Silva) a lot. As I said several times, I do not want to be the guy who beat Anderson, and I do not want to be the guy who lost to him,” Jones said.
“Anderson is a great champion, I’m a great champion,” he added.
Silva recently fought at the light-heavyweight division, defeating Stephan Bonnar in the main event of UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro. After the bout, he immediately shot down the idea of a fight with Jones, saying that he no longer plans to fight at the division again.