Last night, at UFC 153, Anderson Silva put a beating on Stephan Bonnar, stopping him in 1 round. While many of us watching had convinced ourselves that Bonnar could maybe not exactly win, but at least make it a fight, the end still couldn't come as much of a shock given how heavy a favorite Silva was. Given that this was such a lopsided fight on paper, it's no surprise that even before the fight was over, the talk was already about what next for Silva. And from Joe Rogan and the UFC that talk focused on one name - Jon Jones.
The idea of an Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones superfight has come up quite a bit recently, and it's understandable why. These are the top two pound for pound fighters in the world today, and people want to see them tested against the best - each other. Sounds good, right? Of course, there's a snag in that plan.
Jon Jones and Anderson Silva aren't going to fight each other.
Prior to UFC 153, both men made that clear. After the Bonnar win, Silva said it again . Rogan asked the champion if he would again fight at 205 - a veiled way of asking about a possible Jones fight - and Silva's answer was an emphatic no.
So why are we still talking about this fight? Because Dana White insists it's going to happen. And what Dana says, goes, yes?
Again, there's a snag here. Dana White can't make this fight happen unless Silva and Jones want to make it happen. As much as White likes to think he can bend everything to his will, it should be abundantly clear from recent months that he can't. He couldn't force Jones to fight at UFC 151. He couldn't force the Jeremy Stephens vs. Yves Edwards fight to happen. In fact, his I-will-make-this-happen position on Jones vs. Silva is eerily similar to his stance on Fedor Emelianenko coming into the UFC years ago - another project Dana swore would happen, but ultimately failed to deliver.
Some fighters will indeed bend to Dana's wishes. But in the UFC 151 mess, Jon Jones made it obvious that he is not one of those fighters. If he doesn't want a fight, he won't take the fight. Dana can talk around that however he wishes, but facts tell the story, and the cancellation of UFC 151 tells it all.
So we're left with the frustration of the UFC talking up a fight they can't deliver. It's particularly frustrating since there are good fights to talk up for Silva. Both Michael Bisping and Chris Weidman have proven themselves to be worthy of title shots - talk them up.
Then there's the matter of that other oft-discussed superfight - Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre. As of just a few weeks ago, the idea was that this would be next if Silva beat Bonnar and GSP beat Carlos Condit. We're a step closer now, so why was Joe Rogan treating that fight like a sort of consolation prize in case we don't get Silva vs. Jones? If the UFC is indeed planning to run Silva vs. GSP, then they need to rebuild the excitement for that fight and stop talking about Silva vs. Jones.
Bottom line, right now the UFC is hyping up a fight that is not going to happen. By doing so, they are wasting opportunities to hype up tangible fights. In short, they're setting fans up for disappointment instead of getting them excited. That's just not good business and frankly, the UFC should know better.