Jon Jones: Anderson Silva Disrespected His Opponent and Paid the Ultimate Price
Whether the odds going into the fight were close or not, it seemed everyone was in disbelief when Weidman connected with two left hands that put Silva down and out for the first time in his UFC career.
On the night of the fight, Jones took to Twitter and expressed himself in just two words—"this sucks" (the tweet has since been deleted).
During a UFC 165 pre-fight press conference Tuesday, Jones clarified his statement a bit by explaining that he is an Anderson Silva fan, so it was tough watching the greatest middleweight ever go down the way he did.
"Initially I thought it sucked, Anderson Silva is a guy I look up to a lot," Jones stated. "To see a great champion go down so obviously my initial reaction was yeah, this sucked."
Silva has been criticized quite a bit for his antics in the fight where he put his hands down, stuck his chin out and basically dared Weidman to take a shot at him.
It's nothing new in the history of Silva's fights. He's done it time and time again, but this is the first time it has ever backfired on him.
Jones was watching carefully and admits that, as good as Silva is as a fighter, he lost sight of what it meant to be so gifted by toying and playing with an opponent. When it went wrong, it cost him dearly.
"I think that Anderson Silva is a magnificent fighter. I think he has an extraordinary gift, I think he's got to the point where he really believes in his gift, and he's comfortable with his gift, and he abused his gift. He disrespected the gift by disrespecting his opponent," Jones said. "Martial arts is a sport that's traditionally based around honor and integrity and treating people with respect and he somehow lost sight of that. He paid the ultimate price for it.
"I'm not over the Anderson Silva hype train. I know exactly where he was at, you could tell where he was at by the way he was fighting. I think he was fighting at a masterful level. I think he just got disrespectful and the war gods just made him pay for it. He's still that great Anderson Silva in my book."
Jones also learned a very valuable lesson from watching Silva tumble Saturday night.
No matter how much hype or attention a fighter receives for their past performances, it can all change in a moment's notice.
Saturday night, Weidman was the superior fighter and it came at the expense of one of the best of all time. Jones has no intention of letting his next opponent Alexander Gustafsson—or anybody else for that matter—feel the same sense of accomplishment when facing him.
"It actually motivates me a lot too to watch somebody who I look up to like that lose. It's just like a reality check," Jones commented. "I try to keep my ego in check when it comes to the fight game. But watching Anderson lose like that, first of all it's what I would never do is put my hands down like that and fight my opponent that way. Watching Chris Weidman's dream come true, I have to make sure I continue to be the dream-crusher. It motivated me."
Following the loss by Silva, Jones' own stature elevated as he was soon recognized as the new No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
Jones isn't nearly as fast to accept the recognition because he believes that the only reason he's now the top ranked fighter is because Silva lost.
If he can go out and dispatch of Gustafsson in impressive fashion when they meet at UFC 165, then Jones will more likely accept the honor as something he earned.
"It means a lot to me, but at this point it doesn't really feel real. My goal is definitely to become the No. 1 fighter to ever do it. To become No. 1 because Anderson lost doesn't really make me feel like I accomplished anything," Jones stated. "So I am going to continue to work extremely hard to become the No. 1 light heavyweight to ever play the sport and to eventually creep up on Anderson Silva and the things Anderson Silva has done in his career.
"Yeah it doesn't really do too much for me, it doesn't feel real, it doesn't feel earned. Winning this fight will make me feel a little bit more better about it. I have the mindset to just keep in that position and make it more legit through my actions and through my performances instead of just taking a spot from a guy."
Jones' primary goal with his next fight is to defend the UFC light heavyweight title for a sixth consecutive time, which would be a new company record. If all goes well in September, he'll be a lot more receptive to receiving the accolades associated with becoming the best fighter in the sport today.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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