LAS VEGAS – As far as Anderson Silva is concerned, his legacy is already complete. But if the UFC middleweight champion can stray from the normal title defenses for one blockbuster, he’d rather it comes against boxer Roy Jones Jr. than with UFC champs Georges St-Pierre or Jon Jones.
Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC), who fights undefeated challenger Chris Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 162 pay-per-view headliner, would claim his 17th straight UFC win and 11th consecutive title defense if victorious. Yet, heading into the fight, and despite a new 10-fight contract, the 38-year-old has spent a lot of time talking about his legacy.
“Who knows?” he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Wednesday. “Maybe it’s the beginning of the end. Or maybe it’s not.”
If it’s the latter, things could get interesting. UFC President Dana White has already said that if Silva loses to Weidman, he’ll get an immediate rematch. But if victorious, we could see a cross-division superfight with someone like welterweight St-Pierre or light heavyweight Jon Jones, who are both booked for fall title fights.
Silva, though, said neither of those matchups is as attractive as his long-desired bout with Roy Jones Jr., a 44-year-old boxer who hasn’t fought in a year and hasn’t picked up a truly meaningful win in many more. Still, Silva wants to take a detour away from MMA and test his boxing chops against the multi-division titleholder.
“From a professional point of view, my goals have already been accomplished,” Silva said. “I don’t see any greater challenges in my career. I simply seek to be a better human being every day. I try to set a good example to those around me. That’s what’s most important to me. A fight with Jon Jones, with St-Pierre or even with Weidman won’t change anything. The past has been written already.”
So the superfights wouldn’t personally mean much to him?
“I believe a fight against Roy Jones Jr. would be much better,” he said. “… I think my legacy is already complete. I already fought around the world. I think I’m the only athlete in this sport who has four belts from four different promotions. I have the Cage Rage belt. I have the PRIDE belt from when I beat Dan Henderson in a unification bout. I also have the Shooto and UFC belts.”
Silva first mentioned his interest in Roy Jones Jr. four years ago, and he mentioned it again in a recent UFC 162 media call. UFC boss White hasn’t exactly endorsed the plan and said he prefers the champ to focus on MMA pursuits.
But with Silva, White’s learned to expect curveballs. He’s often said the champ is like working with a “temperamental artist,” which can be as irritating as it is fascinating. And though a run-of-the-mill middleweight title fight may not hold the same interest it once did, Silva said his itch won’t won’t be scratched simply by moving up to a new weight class.
“I already went up in weight three times,” said Silva, who defeated a trio of 205-pounders in non-title fights. “I have no plans to do that again. My team has athletes of various weight classes, including my own. I think those fighters should be given the opportunity to do their work, especially since I’m not at the start of my career. I’m pretty much near the end of it. I want to maintain the way things are.”
For more on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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