Forget about Jones vs. Anderson Silva.
I realize those are strong words. That's a fight that a lot of people want to see. You can't call yourself an MMA fan if you're not positively salivating at the idea of the reigning middleweight champion of the world—and the greatest fighter in the history of the sport—moving up a weight class to face the man many believe could be the future of mixed martial arts. It's a story that writes itself.
Unfortunately, it's a story that'll never be written. Silva doesn't want to fight Jones, and can you blame him? He might be the greatest fighter of all time, so why risk that reputation by putting it on the line against a guy who has 14 years and 20 pounds on you?
"The Spider" is a brand. Risking your health against someone like Jones isn't a smart business decision, even though it would undoubtedly be the biggest fight in UFC history and would make both men much more wealthy than they already are. Which is to say, wealthy enough.
Yeah, it's not happening. So why not turn our eyes towards something that can actually happen? And not just something that could happen down the road, but something that might just happen a year or so down the road?
Think about Jones vs. Daniel Cormier.
Yeah, Cormier nearly killed himself trying to cut to 211 pounds during his last bid at the Olympics. But he will tell you that he wasn't exactly cutting weight the smart way. Rather than diet down and make a targeted cut at the weight, Cormier instead chose to stay at his normal weight and then rid himself of all body water in a desperation cut.
It just doesn't work that way, and it didn't work for Cormier. But that doesn't mean light heavyweight is out of the question. All he'd would need to do is diet himself down to 220-225 pounds or so—an easy task for Cormier—and then the cut to 205 would be simple.
Imagine, if you will, that Jones beats Dan Henderson (which he will) and Alexander Gustafsson (which he will). Imagine that Cormier gets by Jeff Monson or Tim Sylvia or any other heavyweight Zuffa can find to sign a one-fight Strikeforce deal for the express purposes of facing one of the best young heavyweights in the world.
Well, Cormier would be moving to the UFC. And according to Dana White, he'd be able to contend for a title. And instead of sticking around and clogging up the ranks with his buddy Cain Velasquez, he could move down to 205 and get an immediate shot at one of the best fighters in the world.
And what a fight it would be. What a style match. What an interesting contrast. The Olympic wrestler versus the JUCO champion that turned himself into one of the best fighters in the world.
You can't tell me you wouldn't love to see it, because you would. And if things play out the way I think they will over the next eight months or so, it's a fight we'll all be looking forward to in 2013.