Since the UFC first began gaining popularity, Anderson Silva has dominated the light-heavyweight division. Since 2006, Silva had remained undefeated and seemingly unchallenged within his weight class, often not suffering even the slightest bruise or cut during many fights.
During the same period of time, Georges St. Pierre has dominated the welterweight division of the UFC, which has lead to much speculation surrounding a possible “super fight” between the two champion fighters. However, beginning in 2010, interest in another super bout began to intensify among UFC fans. This new match-up would also feature Silva. However, his opponent would not be GSP — but instead, Jon Jones.
Starting in 2010, Jones began to emerge as one of the top fighters in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division. By 2011, he had captured the division’s title and successfully defended it on several occasions. Fans of the UFC began talking about a super fight between Silva, who had continued to dominate the middleweight class, and Jones, who was becoming regarded as one of the best of all time at light-heavyweight.
However, each fighter seemed to have little interest in making this fight a reality for MMA fans. On several occasions, both Silva and Jones stated that they have too much respect for the other, and that they did not want to face one another in the octagon. Jones also claimed that he did not want to fight Silva because that would mean one of the two fighters would lose his championship. Jones explained that his championship was important to him as well as to Anderson Silva.
The fight also seemed unlikely to happen when Silva did not seem willing to go up in weight to fight at 205 pounds — something he had done on two occasions in the past. Silva had easily beaten opponents James Irvin and Forrest Griffin in the light-heavyweight class, but did not appear to be willing to do this once again.
In April 2012, Jones defended his title by defeating Rashad Evans, which cemented his place in UFC history as one of the greats. He had now defeated Rua, Jackson, Machida, and Evans — four of the all time best in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division. There was a great deal of pressure on Silva, Jones, and UFC president Dana White to make a bout between Silva and Jones happen. White suggested that Silva may be nearing the end of his career in the near future, and that perhaps a match-up with either Georges St. Pierre or Jon Jones may be appropriate for his final fight.
By the summer of 2013, both Jones and Silva had changed their tune regarding a potential match-up with each other. It seemed likely that this match-up would become a reality sometime during 2014; Silva, Jones, and now Dana White all seemed to be very interested in making this super bout come to fruition.
However, in July of 2013 at UFC 162, Anderson Silva’s record run as middleweight champion came to an unexpected end when he was knocked out by Chris Weidman. Then, just five months later in UFC 168, Silva suffered a gruesome broken leg in his re-match with Weidman. The injury is one that could certainly threaten the career of Silva, now 37 years old.
The fighter does vow that he will make a successful return to the UFC. Unfortunately, the sudden turn of events in Silva’s career will no doubt put the chance of a bout against Jones up in the air. If Silva is able to make a return to the octagon, he may very likely wish to pursue another re-match with Weidman in an effort to re-claim his middleweight title.