Saturday’s UFC 168 event drew a number of cageside celebrities at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, but boxer Roy Jones Jr. apparently was there for both business and pleasure.
With UFC 168 headliner Anderson Silva on the mend following a broken leg in a loss with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Jones has apparently turned his attention to another potential foe for a boxing match: retired UFC fighter Nick Diaz.
The possibility, which reporter Ariel Helwani discussed on UFC 168's post-event show, reportedly wasn’t completely shot down by UFC President Dana White, who said he’d give it some consideration.
Silva and Jones have long discussed their interest in a match, and the 44-year-old Jones, who owns a 57-8 pro boxing record, recently suggested it could finally happen if Silva defeated Weidman at UFC 168. Silva, though, both lost the fight and suffered a broken leg that’s likely to keep him sidelined well into 2014, if not longer.
But would Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) accept the matchup instead? The former UFC title challenger announced his retirement in March after a title loss to Georges St-Pierre, and according to White, he recently turned down an offer to rematch Carlos Condit in March at UFC 171. He seems quite content in retirement.
However, if Diaz, who’s previously called out his boxing counterparts (including Jones), would accept the bout, UFC heavyweight contender and FOX Sports analyst Daniel Cormier likes his chances, at least compared to Silva’s.
“I truly believe that Nick Diaz, in a pure boxing match, actually stands a slightly better chance than Anderson because he is a little better boxer than Anderson Silva,” said Cormier, who quickly suggested Diaz would still be a significant underdog.
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(Pictured: Roy Jones Jr.)