One day after telling a group of reporters that he didn’t think he could beat Jon Jones (18-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC), UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) is apparently doing a bit of an about face.
With a looming potential superfight on the horizon with UFC light heavyweight champ Jones, Silva wanted to make it perfectly clear that he’s not intimated by the bigger man.
“My opinion is this: I’ll fight Jon Jones, all the guys from my class, all the guys that work in the UFC – all the fighters,” Silva said on Tuesday’s new edition of “UFC Tonight.” “I respect all the fighters. I respect Jon Jones. I respect Chris Weidman, but I’m here for working.
“I’m not scared of Jon Jones, of Chris Weidman or whoever. I’m here to fight. That’s it. It’s simple.”
Silva, of course, is booked in the main event of Saturday night’s UFC 162 event at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, where he takes on undefeated challenger Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC). As you would expect of a fighter who is 16-0 in the octagon, Silva is the betting favorite in the matchup.
However, Weidman’s skillset has made him a fashionable underdog pick, even among UFC veterans, including “UFC Tonight” hosts Chael Sonnen and Kenny Florian.
Silva said that’s just fine with him.
“It’s a great fight on Saturday night because Weidman has good jiu-jitsu, good wrestling, good standup,” Silva said. It’s a great fight.”
For Weidman, UFC 162 represents what is unquestionably the biggest fight of his career. But there may be much on the line for Silva, as well, as UFC President Dana White has suggested a win will put “The Spider” in a superfight with either Jones or UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre (24-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC).
Silva remained coy when asked what victory could bring.
“I don’t know,” Silva said. “I have my plans in my class.
“I don’t have a big goal to change my class. I have my belt in my class. I have my story in my class. That’s it.”
It’s just the latest smoke screen from Silva, who never seems to answer things with a response that doesn’t take a little bit of deciphering. If you believe White, it’s all part of the middleweight champ’s master plan to confuse the media, quite possibly just for his own entertainment.
Whatever the reason, Silva isn’t tipping his hand just yet.
“I respect all the fighters,” Silva said. “I respect Georges St-Pierre because Georges has a great story in the UFC. I respect all the fighters in here because this is the biggest sport in the world.
“This is the UFC. UFC has the best fighters in the world. That’s it.”
For the latest on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Anderson Silva)