Middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva claims he doesn’t even have Dana White’s digits, let alone the desire to lobby for a fight with Jon Jones.
During a media teleconference today in support of UFC 162, Silva denied that he called the UFC president post-UFC 159 to request his next opponent, which White then hinted to be the light-heavy champ.
“I think everyone already knows that I didn’t call Dana,” Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) said. “I don’t even have his phone number personally.”
That’s news to White, who today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Silva did call him following the April 27 event in Newark, N.J.
“I don’t know why he loves to f— with the media,” said White. “Ask (Anthony) Pettis if he called me that night (after UFC 156). Jones said he didn’t tell me he wanted to HURT Chael (Sonnen), but he did. I think the guys don’t like that I tell the media everything. Roy Nelson and his wife don’t like it either.”
With headline-grabbing interviews and social media an ever-present part of the MMA news cycle, White often makes headlines when he pulls back the curtain to reveal behind-the-scenes interactions with fighters.
In Pettis’ case, White made a fight on the spot when he announced a text message from the lightweight contender that requested a shot at featherweight champ Jose Aldo. (Pettis was later forced to withdraw from the fight, which was set for UFC 163, when he sustained a knee injury.)
The UFC president also sticks to his guns when fighters dispute his recollections. He pushed back when Jones denied telling him that he wanted to hurt Sonnen prior to UFC 159, and doesn’t shy away from elaborating on his many issues with heavyweight Nelson, who frequently jabs at him in interviews.
White’s claim about Silva’s post-UFC 159 call seemed to strengthen the possibility of a superfight between two MMA juggernauts, though the middleweight champ stressed during the call that Chris Weidman remains his priority.
The undefeated Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will attempt to scratch the big-bucks fight when he takes on Silva at UFC 162 on July 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. He is 2-to-1 underdog in most betting lines.
Jones, meanwhile, is the other half of the equation. The 25-year-old is expected to meet Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in September.
White often has likened Silva to a temperamental artist who likes to send mixed messages to the media, though he never wavers from his belief that the Brazilian fighter is the best of his time. The middleweight champ recently signed a 10-fight deal that could take him well into his 40s by its end.
Silva said it will come down to willpower whether he fulfills the long-term deal.
“Everything’s a possibility,” he said. “It’s going to come down to my desire to keep fighting. I have a lot of other things I want to do. I have a lot of other desires, and one of those is fighting Roy Jones, but we’re just going to have to see how things go in the next couple of fights and see how I feel.”
For more on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Anderson Silva)
John Morgan contributed to this report.