Is UFC Champ Anderson Silva Open to Fighting Jon Jones or Not?

Photo by Tracy Lee via Combat Lifestyle.

I've made no secret that the one fight I'm really dying to see as a fan is UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones vs UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva. Our own Brent Brookhouse told us why fans should give up on the fight a while back. 

Silva for his part has been very vocal in the last week to the Brazilian media that he won't fight Jones. 

But now his manager Ed Soares is telling MMA Weekly he's open to a return to light heavyweight or at least not ruling it out:

"If there's opportunities that happen to be the right opportunities at the right time, then we'll take them. But right now he's focused on the middleweight title," Silva's manager Ed Soares told MMAWeekly Radio.
"I don't know if he's always felt that," Soares commented about Silva's mindset always being at 185 pounds. "He's focused on defending his middleweight title, that's his weight class, that's where he feels comfortable at."
"You can never say never, that's for sure," Soares stated.

Honestly this reads more like MMA Weekly pushing him in this direction to get a headline for an otherwise news-free interview. But I'm posting on it because I think there is some fire behind the smoke. 

Bear with me:

  1. The UFC is desperate for marquee fights right now. 
    They have an injured and basically unknown heavyweight champ in Cain Velasquez. Brock Lesnar is their biggest star but he looked so bad losing to Velasquez that many fear Junior dos Santos will do more than just KO Lesnar, he'll finish Lesnar as a draw when they meet at UFC 131.
    Light heavyweight champ Jon Jones could be big, but he's not big yet. The Rashad Evans fight should be big but only because of the personal grudge, not because many think Evans will beat Jones.
    Welterweight champ Georges St Pierre is one fight away from cleaning out his division and fans are frustrated with GSP after the Hardy and Koscheck fights.
  2. Anderson Silva vs GSP seems to be in limbo.
    Judging by GSP's public statements he either doesn't want the fight or he wants a whole lot more money for doing it than the UFC wants to pay. 
  3. Anderson Silva vs Jon Jones is the biggest possible fight on the horizon for the UFC
    If (when) Silva beats Yushin Okami at UFC Rio, Chael Sonnen is the only fight left for him at 185 pounds. And given Sonnen's ever-increasing problems with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, it's not a fight I'd want to bet the farm on if I was the UFC. 
I think there is a real possibility that Soares and Silva are playing a good cop/bad cop routine here to get the UFC to up the ante for a fight with Jones. A fight Silva may very well lose but that could finally make him a star in the USA if he wins. If Jones beats Silva -- the man who made Forrest Griffin flee the cage in tears, it will make him a star.

The UFC needs Silva vs Jones, Silva needs Silva vs Jones, Jones needs Silva vs Jones. The stakes are too high for this fight to be written off.

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