All hail the king.
Last night, at UFC 148, Anderson Silva usurped any psychological claim Chael Sonnen had to his belt, thus restoring order to his middleweight kingdom. Fans and pundits alike trotted out the "greatest of all time" label, which is more than justifiable.
B/R readers seem to agree, as Silva is receiving 60 percent of the vote on the poll question currently residing on the right-hand rail of our UFC page. The poll question asks who the greatest MMA fighter of all time is, and Fedor is coming in a distant second, with 21 percent of the vote.
The inevitable question after victory is, "Who's next?"
The one fighter who Silva won't be tangling with next, if ever, is the one fighter the majority of fight fans would most like to see "The Spider" attempt to spin a web for.
That fighter is, of course, the current light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.
Following Silva’s second-round TKO victory over Sonnen, White was asked at the post-fight press conference (h/t UFC.com) about the possibility of Silva's moving up in weight. The UFC president responded:
I don’t ever tell guys whether to move up or down. Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter in the history of mixed martial arts. I’m in awe of this guy. He does things to people that other people can’t do. He’s 37 going on 38 years old. He doesn’t look like he’s slowing down.
Unless Anderson Silva calls me up on the phone and tells me he wants to go to 205...185 pounds is the weight that he likes. It’s the weight he loves, and it’s the weight that he’s absolutely and completely dominated.
When Silva was asked if a potential superfight against Jones interested him, the champ wagged his finger "no" (h/t Los Angeles Times).
As far as Jones is concerned, he sent the following Tweet:
I guess Anderson said he had no interest in fighting me at tonight's press conference, I feel the same way about him. Nothing but respect— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 8, 2012
So it appears as if respect, at least on the part of Jones, is just one of the things that could keep one of the biggest fights the UFC could put together from happening.
And perhaps that is something we should all be okay with.
Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times is certainly not sitting well with the notion, proclaiming in his Sunday op-ed:
Yet, to be feted as the greatest mixed martial arts fighter of all time in one scene and wag your finger "no" to a tough fight in another … Silva can’t have it both ways.
Pugmire went on to add that UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta answered a text-message question about the interest in forcing Silva-Jones by texting back, "Have some faith."
So, do you have faith in a possible superfight between Silva and Jones?
Or are you content with the current greatest of all time finishing out his career at middleweight and extending what may end up being one of the more unbreakable records (now 10 consecutive title defenses) when it is all said and done?