While UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) vs. welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) is still a strong possibility, UFC president Dana White has strengthened his stance on the possibility of Silva vs. light-heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones (17-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC).
“I said it in Brazil, and I’ll say it again: Hell yes, they will (fight),” he said Tuesday.
Time is ticking, though; Jones said he plans to be a heavyweight as early as next year.
White and Jones discussed his future on Tuesday as part of MetroPCS online chat. Jones, of course, already has a fight on his agenda: one with recent middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen. The two fighters are currently serving as coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter 17,” which debuts in early 2013. The fighters then will meet in a title fight at the show’s conclusion.
But speaking as though the mismatch (at least according to the oddsmakers) is a done deal, White discussed what’s next for Jones. And it includes a fight Silva.
“I guarantee you that fight will absolutely happen,” White said.
Although Silva favors a fight with St-Pierre, fans have slowly turned their attention to Silva vs. Jones. Part of the reason is that many see it as a fairer fight since the fighters appear closer in weight (Silva, after all, recently competed at light heavyweight for the third time in his UFC career).
White, though, isn’t buying that argument.
“When people say that, it’s crazy because a lot of people believe that Jon Jones should be fighting at heavyweight anyway,” he said. “So to say that GSP-Anderson Silva doesn’t make sense doesn’t make sense. The cool thing about it is those are the top-three pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and the greatest fighter of all-time and the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter of all time falls right in the middle. So [Silva] can fight Georges St-Pierre, and he can fight Jon Jones. They both make sense.”
Jones’ current residency in the 205-pound division could be short-lived, though. The 25-year-old still plans a move up in weight – one that would put Jones and Silva two weight classes apart.
And it could come within the next year.
“I’ll definitely move up to heavyweight, but it will probably be around 2013, maybe at the end of 2013,” he said. “Right now, I have a nutritionist, and I’m starting to take the career a lot more serious than I used to, so my weight cuts are getting a lot easier.
“I walk around a lot thinner, naturally, so that right now I’m like 225 (pounds). It’s like a 20-pound cut. That’s really easy. So I may look bigger than most people than I’m fighting, but I’m really not.”