“Anderson Silva money” became a favorite phrase of MMA fans after Lyoto Machida asked for that type of cash to face Rashad Evans on short notice at UFC 133. Machida’s request was denied, but the saying lives on, however it may take on a whole new meaning if Silva’s demands are met by the UFC for a fight against Jon Jones.
If you poll fans, media and the UFC brass regarding a bout between Silva, the long-reigning UFC middleweight champion and Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion you will find that the majority want to see this superfight happen. Silva and Jones are two of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, to get them together inside the Octagon would result in the biggest fight MMA has ever seen. There’s just one problem, neither fighter seems to have any real interest in making this fight happen.
Whenever they have been asked about facing each other the two have said that they don’t want to step inside the cage together. At the UFC 153 post-fight press conference, Silva said:
I wouldn't like this to happen because on our team we have (Antonio) Rogerio Minotoro (Nogueira), we have (Rafael) Feijao, we have (Wagner Prado) Calderon, we have other athletes in his division that can fight him. I'm getting old guys, I'm retired, I'm nearly there, I've only got another five years left, leave Jon Jones to them.
Will we ever see Silva vs Jones?
As for Jones, he recently told Correio Braziliense, (h/t to MMAFighting.com) “I'm not saying that the fight will not happen. It can happen. But it's not something I'm chasing. I don't believe that I need to fight with Anderson to be the best in the world.”
UFC president Dana White seems confident he can make the fight happen and he feels he can do so by breaking out the checkbook. As White said at the UFC 153 post-fight presser, “I know my man says 'No, no, no, but the amount of money that would be offered for that fight, I guarantee you I will make Anderson Silva say, 'Yes, yes, yes.'”
If White is looking for an idea as to how much money it will take to put Silva inside the Octagon with Jones, Tatame has the answer and it is, shall we say, a significant amount, “That question (about facing Jones) has to be made to Dana White,” Silva said. “Let's ask if he will give me 50% of the UFC.”
Silva then detailed why he would request such an exorbitant amount, “I have my projects out of the UFC and I want to put them into practice. To open my school (martial arts) in Los Angeles. I do my thing, take a breath a little, take time with my family. I have better things to do (than just taking punch in the face).”
As for how much the UFC is worth? If you take White’s word, the promotion has a current worth of $2.5 billion.
So, there you have it. If the UFC gives Silva that type of money, Anderson Silva money will be more than the GDP of several countries. In other words, don’t hold your breath on the Silva versus Jones fight ever taking place.