Chael Sonnen on top of Anderson Silva at UFC 117. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Since UFC 128 ended one of the trendiest things to do in the wake of UFC 128 is to call for Anderson Silva to jump to 205 for a superfight with Jon Jones. Obviously this isn't something that would happen anytime soon given that Jones is set to face Rashad Evans. I hate to fill Jonathan Snowden's role of "guy who rains on the potential superfight parade" but Silva vs. Jones simply makes no sense.
MMA history has very few fighters who have been able to move between two weight classes with high level success. And the ability to control where the fight takes place is one of the key factors in that success. Randy Couture is the most obvious example of a man who has had success moving between weights and still finding success, a product of his ability to control bigger men by having better wrestling technique.
Even though he prefers to stay standing and land a big right hand, Dan Henderson's wrestling has allowed him to find career success at 205 pounds despite the ability to easily make 185. Even BJ Penn's moderate success at welterweight has been a product of his freakish takedown defense.
Anderson Silva has one weakness and it's his wrestling. Silva's inability to stay on the feet against Chael Sonnen is not going to suddenly go away against a much bigger Jon Jones. While I desperately wish that the UFC would do reach stats for shoulder to fingertip rather than wingspan, Jones' listed reach is seven inches longer than Silva's. I simply don't see the fight as being competitive at all.
Silva would likely be hesitant on the feet like he was against Sonnen due to the threat of a takedown and if Jones ever felt he was in trouble he could take Silva down from any position. On the ground Jones is very technical and freakishly strong, the likelihood of his falling into a submission like Sonnen or Henderson is almost nonexistent. This wouldn't be like Silva moving up to fight Forrest Griffin and James Irvin, those guys were exactly the kind of fighter that Silva should handle, this is an entirely different beast.
We, as fans, shouldn't be so desperate to see fighters take fights that are bad for them. There's a difference between wanting to see fighters challenged and wanting to see fighters lose. Luckily Dana White mentioned that Anderson doesn't appear interested in going up to light heavyweight to capture the title. We're going to see plenty of tremendous Jon Jones moments in the coming years, we don't need him hurting the legacy of Anderson Silva mixed in.