If 2012 was the year of the UFC injury, 2013 may very well be the year of the UFC superfight.
UFC President Dana White today told HDNet’s “Inside MMA” that not only is an Anderson Silva (32-4 MMA, 15-0 UFC) vs. Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) bout looking more and more likely if “GSP” can defeat Carlos Condit but that Silva vs. Jon Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) could very well happen, too.
“As you start to get to a point where Anderson is in his career – he’s beat everybody, he’s broken every record in UFC history – if he wins against Georges St-Pierre, I guarantee you he’ll be eyeballing Jon Jones next,” White said.
Silva, of course, fought most recently in July, when he downed nemesis Chael Sonnen for a second time. He’s been largely silent since, and questions about his next move have lingered. While a number of contenders have emerged at 185 pounds – including Michael Bisping, Tim Boetsch, Brian Stann and Chris Weidman, among others – White has suggested “The Spider” is instead being earmarked for a superfight with welterweight champion St-Pierre should he defeat interim champ Condit at November’s UFC 154 event.
It’s a potential fight both Silva and St-Pierre long said wasn’t of interest, but White said those times have changed.
“Anderson and ‘GSP’ were talking like they didn’t want to fight,” White said. “Now if he beats Condit, meaning Georges St-Pierre, he wins this Carlos Condit fight, he’s saying he wants to fight Anderson, and Anderson is saying he wants to fight him. That fight will probably happen first.”
That fight was once considered the most noteworthy matchup possible in MMA, and White has even gone on-record stating the 100,000-seat Dallas Cowboys Stadium would likely serve as host. Of course, Jones’ meteoric rise up the light heavyweight ranks, not to mention his historic 2011 and sometimes-Silva-like movements in the cage, have led many fans and pundits to move beyond a potential Silva vs. St-Pierre fight in hopes of seeing Silva vs. Jones. Both the middleweight and light heavyweight title holders have gone one record in opposition of such a matchup while citing mutual respect and legacies as reasons not to make the fight.
Of course, Silva has also said that at 37 years old, he’s only interested in the biggest fights possible – and this would certainly fit that description.
And as White notes, not all declarations of intent are binding. Just ask Rashad Evans.
“Anderson and Jones are saying, ‘Hey, we’re buddies,’ or ‘We don’t want to fight’ or whatever the deal is,” White said. “But [Jones] didn’t want to fight Rashad either, and that happened.”