Do these guys respect each other too much?
At least, that is what he tells the world anytime someone asks him about what would easily be the most anticipated fight in MMA history.
After Silva's one-sided waxing of Stephan Bonnar this past weekend at UFC 153, color commentator Joe Rogan asked the middleweight champ the obvious question: "Can we expect more fights from you at light heavyweight?"
Silva's reply: "No. I am not going to fight at 205 again. I fought at 205 to save the event." Silva stepped up when UFC 153 lost both its main and co-main events.
Silva not moving up to fight at 205 again would all but rule out a fight opposite Jon Jones, the current 205-pound champ.
For his part, Dana White, at the post-fight presser, had this to say in regard to the potential of a Silva vs. Jones superfight: "I know my man (Silva) says, 'No, no, no,' but for the amount of money that would be offered for that fight, I guarantee you I will make Anderson Silva say, 'Yes, yes, yes.'"
While Dana was saying this, Silva was shaking his head and hammed up a facial expression of physical pain at the idea.
Later, in the post-fight media scrum—where a few hardcore MMA reporters gather around Dana in a more intimate setting—John Morgan of MMAJunkie.com asked Mr. White if he could pinpoint Silva's reluctance to fight Jon Jones, and if he thought Silva was just negotiating with him.
Dana stated, "He's playing games with me, that's what he is doing. I know how he works, and I know how he thinks."
White went on to say that Silva will want to prove, by the time he leaves, who the man is. Right now, Silva is clearly the man. But if Jones continues to rack up impressive wins while the meme that Silva is "ducking" Jones continues to proliferate...at what point do the fans start to waver on who they think numero uno is?
So if we are to believe Dana, all it will take to convince Silva to fight Jones is pressure and time, some game-playing and, ultimately, money—lots and lots of dinero. By no means Floyd Mayweather money, but for an MMA fighter, it would probably have to top whatever Brock Lesnar made for a fight.
However, at the post-fight presser, Silva stated that ever since he started training in martial arts, he has never thought about money. He concluded his line of reasoning as to why he is opposed to a fight with Jones by saying, "I'm old, guys...I'm getting old. I'm retired. I'm nearly there. I've only got another five years."
Upon hearing that, Dana let out a delighted chuckle and said, "God, I hope he is right. Five more years would be awesome. I will fly down here, I'll lock myself in a room with Jorge [Guimaraes], Ed Soares and him, and I’ll make this fight."
At that, Silva once again shook his head while wagging both his index fingers, signaling "no."
Silva revealed that he has two fights left on his current deal and that he expects one of them to be with current welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.
"I think it'd be a great challenge for me," Silva said. "I prefer him over Jon Jones. He’s smaller. It'll be a little bit easier. I’ll be hit less."
So is Silva simply holding out for the right amount of money? Is he, in fact, afraid to face Jon Jones—not keen at the idea of ending his career by potentially getting beaten up by a younger, larger champion?
And where is Jon Jones in all of this? He has reiterated that he does not want to fight Silva, but perhaps after a few more one-sided wins, he will drop the "I respect him too much to fight him" line and actually starting calling Silva out.
Only time will tell if "the greatest of all time" decides to bow to the increasing peer pressure from both Dana White and the fans and subsequently bow to Jon Jones as he stands across from him in the Octagon.