NEWARK, N.J. – Chael Sonnen had just finished a characteristic rant on the fickle competitive appetites of champion fighters – Anderson Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) and Jon Jones (18-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) in particular – when UFC President Dana White chimed in with some apparently good news.
“Anderson called and wants a fight,” said White, who declined to name the middleweight champ’s target.
Asked whether the proposal was between Jones and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, however, White said yes.
That could be great news for the UFC and White, who previously has said he has to make Jones vs. Silva happen.
Silva, though, already has one potential roadblock staring him in the face. He’s scheduled to meet Chris Weidman in the headliner of UFC 162, which takes place July 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. White is very aware of that fact, and that’s why he repeatedly declined to divulge specifics about their conversation.
“(Silva has) got to get past his first fight, and then I’ll work on that one,” White said.
The logical conclusion would be that Silva called about Jones, because it was Jones who on Saturday put a thumping on Sonnen in the headliner of UFC 159 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Why would the pound-for-pound great make a point to call the UFC exec about St-Pierre, who’s all but snuffed out the often-broached idea of an immediate superfight?
White said it’s all speculation until Silva gets past Weidman. What he did say, though, is that if Silva doesn’t get past Weidman, fans can say goodbye to any superfights featuring the middleweight kingpin.
“Anderson is the key to the whole puzzle,” White said. “If Weidman beats Anderson, it blows the whole superfight concept.”
Current betting lines have Silva as high as a 3-to-1 favorite, which isn’t nearly as lopsided as the ones for Jones vs. Sonnen. The light-heavyweight champ, who defended his belt a fifth time, was as high as an 11-to-1 favorite to beat two-time middleweight title challenger Sonnen.
Sonnen, for one, is not optimistic about a meeting between Jones and Silva.
“These guys should be calling Dana right now, begging him to fight each other, and it’s not going to go that way,” he said. “You’ve got these two guys, and they’re great, but they’re a couple of chickens. They should be calling each other out. They should grab the mic and say, ‘I want to fight that guy. I don’t want the debate. I want to figure this out. Give me a date; give me a time.’
“But it won’t happen that way. Dana’s going to have to call these guys, and they’re going to have to dangle a carrot, and they’re going to want to negotiate. We’re in the fight business. If you don’t want to fight, don’t raise your hand.”
That’s when White piped up, and the crowd, which up until that point had been focused on Jones, was palpably intrigued. UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site. And for the latest on UFC on FX 8, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Anderson Silva)view original article >>
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