Since becoming UFC light heavyweight champion last year, the comparisons between Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have been endless.
Both competitors' performances in their respective divisions have made fans call for a potential dream fight, but Silva has already shot down the idea of facing Jones.
And now Jones has also played down the notion of fighting the Brazilian, who he considers the top-pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and a role model.
“I respect and look up to him so much," Jones told SenseiSporTV (courtesy of FightersOnly.com). "For me, the ideal scenario would be having him as my mentor and learn with him after he retires. It would be great for me."
Like Silva, Jones' dominance over the 205-pound division thus far will eventually allow him to move up to the heavyweight division, which Jones personally requested earlier this year but was denied by UFC President Dana White. White insisted that there were still more challengers ahead for the champion.
But if he continues to successfully defend the light heavyweight crown, Jones said he will have essentially cleaned out the competition.
"I spoke with Dana White about making a heavyweight fight in 2012 but he said he didn’t consider it a good idea right now," he said. "But after beating Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans and maybe Alexander Gustafsson in 2012, I don’t see what to do in this division, not wanting to disrespect to anybody."
Although fans may never witness a matchup between the two champions, they should be fortunate to see a special athlete in Jones, who at only 24 years old, is probably not even in his prime years and will only continue to evolve as a fighter.