Anderson Silva vs Jon Jones: Why This Is Now MMA's Mayweather vs Pacquiao

Montique DavidCorrespondent IIIJuly 22, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11:  (L-R) UFC Fighters Jon Jones and Anderson Silva arrive at the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The top two in the world. The elusive matchup. Two men making every excuse not to fight each other. I’m not talking about Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. I’m talking about Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones.

When it comes to Super Fights this day and age, only one MMA fight can come close to matching the hype of Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao. That fight is Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones. With all due respect to Georges St-Pierre, this fight is No. 1 vs. No 2. The best vs. the best. The unstoppable force vs. the immovable object. However, with these two, it isn’t PPV splits and PED testing procedures that have to be worked out. They just simply refuse to fight each other.

It’s rare in combat sports that you have two dominant, seemingly unstoppable fighters at the same time that fight near the same weight.

Jones has run through everyone that the UFC has placed in front of him. In his last four fights alone, he’s baffled and destroyed former UFC Champions in a division that many call the most stacked division in the UFC. His championship run has been what legends are made of. Rarely even challenged through his dominant championship fights.

Compare that to longevity. Silva has been nothing short of amazing with the most consecutive UFC title defenses (10) and longest win streak in UFC history (15). Throughout these wins, he’s had spectacular highlight finishes and even an improbable comeback. Watching Silva fight is like watching the Bruce Lee of our time. A must-see spectacle. Whether it’s a front-kick KO or a perfectly placed running knee to the body of a downed opponent, you’ll see something special.

Now, there are detractors out there who’d tell you that the size difference is too great. That Jon Jones is just too big for Silva. Well, let’s explore that. Anderson Silva has been in 15 UFC fights. Of those fights, 11 of those were against men who’ve competed in the Light Heavyweight division.

Jon Jones’ next title defense is against Dan Henderson. Silva is three inches taller and has a 6.5-inch reach advantage over Henderson. Silva also walks around at 215-225 and cuts an insane amount of weight to get down to 185. Henderson, on the other hand, weighed in for a heavyweight fight at 207.

Jones walks around at 225-230, which is right on par with Silva’s. Now, of course, Jones will enjoy a hefty reach advantage, but look deeper and you’ll find that out of 12 UFC fights, “Bones” will have only faced two men with a longer reach than “The Spider.”

So with that said, Anderson Silva is naturally a bigger fighter than the current No. 1 contender for the Light Heavyweight Championship, and longer than anybody Jones has faced in over two years.

So this fight needs to happen. Not only because it will pair two of the most dominant fighters of right now, but it could very well determine who’s the greatest of all-time. Twenty years from now, if this fight doesn’t happen, we all as fight fans will be truly disappointed in what we could have witnessed. Like the Thrilla in Manilla, we’d want to tell our children where we were when this fight happened. We’d tell stories of who we rooted for, recalling every punch, kick and takedown round for round.

But with every denial of even interest in doing this fight, we learn that the competitive spirit of fighting the best no matter what truly is gone. No longer is it pick a date and weight and I’ll be there. This is the new age of combat sports where the best simply don’t fight each other.

So instead of those stories of where we were when the biggest MMA match of all-time went down, just like Mayweather vs Pacquiao, we’ll only say what if.