If Anderson Silva ever considered himself the UFC’s best fighter, he doesn’t any longer.
Chris Weidman ended that in July, and even if the often outwardly humble Silva ever admitted he was the UFC’s best during his long reign as middleweight champion, his loss to Weidman now has him believing someone else is the world’s best: light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Silva (33-5 MMA, 16-1 UFC) could start the argument anew over who the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter is, though, with a win over Weidman (10-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) when they rematch next week at UFC 168, which takes place Dec. 28 on pay-per-view from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
But it was Jones’ win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in September that has Silva believing he’s the best in the world.
“Jon Jones keeps going up and up and up,” Silva recently said in Los Angeles. “The last fight, Jon Jones proved for all the people that he’s the best.”
Silva also said Georges St-Pierre, who recently vacated his welterweight title to step away from the sport for the foreseeable future, needs to be respected for his stance.
“Georges is having personal problems, and he’s a great fighter that people need to respect. That’s it,” Silva said.
As for his rematch with Weidman, for which he’s a slight betting favorite despite being a title challenger rather than champion for the first time in more than seven years, Silva said he’s not looking back at his loss at UFC 162. And he also continued to try to put to rest the notion that he was knocked out because he was clowning around in the cage.
“When I go inside the octagon for a fight, I don’t joke because there’s danger,” Silva said. “The last fight, I had a fault and Weidman won. I’m not focused on my last fight – I’m focused on this fight because this is a new one for me.”
Check out the video above, and then don’t miss UFC 168 next week on pay-per-view. MMAjunkie will have full coverage of the year-end event all week.
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