After Jon Jones defeated Chael Sonnen in predictable fashion, it became obvious that he needs a greater challenge. That challenge will not come from the 205 division.
The 205 superstar has run through the division's elite with comical ease. The time has come to make the first MMA clash between the world's No. 1 and 2 and two pound-for-pound superstars.
The polarizing Jones is indisputably one of the greatest fighters on the planet. He has destroyed legends and crushed all opposition. What options are there for Jon Jones at 205? Alexander Gustafsson possibly? Gegard Mousasi? Glover Teixeira? None have beaten top-tiered UFC competition and proven themselves contender worthy. At least not yet.
Lyoto Machida did well for one round and deserves a rematch. Dan Henderson has not shown that he is capable of being ready to compete for five rounds and cannot be given a shot until he can fight five full rounds.
However, these would not generate the excitement of a clash with longtime pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva.
Dana White has said that he believes in putting on "fun fights" and giving the fights that the public demands. For some bizarre reason, he pitted the world's best in Silva against a mediocre Stephan Bonnar stating it would be "fun."
"You're absolutely, 100 percent right (that it's OK to have fun fights sometimes)," White told MMAjunkie.com.
The fight was not fun. It was a world-class fighter against a gatekeeper. It made no sense. Jon Jones-Anderson Silva is the quintessential "fun fight."
Dana also justified Jon Jones fighting a 185 fighter in Chael Sonnen because it was to satisfy a great demand from the public.
White said of Jones in a media conference call via MMA Weekly: "Obviously Chael wants this fight, has been asking for this fight. The fans wanted this fight."
Fans are asking for Anderson Silva-Jon Jones. Can we see this now, please? If the UFC wants to send middleweights like (sometime) Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen to face Jon Jones, why won't they send the middleweight champion?
Anderson Silva has long dominated the 185 division. His forays into 205 have been against Bonnar and James Irvin and Forrest Griffin, none of whom challenged the Brazilian legend. These were far from the most dangerous threats at 205 at that juncture.
There are no compelling fights left for "The Spider" in the middleweight division. The next test for Anderson will be in Las Vegas, Nev., on July 7 at UFC 162 against Chris Weidman. The only chance for Chris is if a quixotic, uninterested Silva shows up and spares him a quick thrashing.
Anderson has seminal UFC records such as 16 consecutive wins and 10 title defenses. It is safe to say he is ready for a stiffer test.
"Bones" has now tied the UFC record for light-heavyweight title defenses at five. He is ready to fight the best in the game. Since he is fighting middleweights anyway, who not fight the best one?
What does the 205 king say about a potential clash?
In a radio interview on The Fox's Jeff O'Neil Show in Vancouver, Canada (via Bloody Elbow), this promising statement was given:
"Yeah definitely, there will be a time, there will come a time. One day, I said it first here. Normally I beat around the bush, but it's going to happen for sure."
The time is long overdue to see Silva tested. Jon Jones is the logical choice, This is both what the fans want and is a "fun fight." Both are fighting in the division of the other, just not against the best possible competition. There is no reason for this fight to not happen.