Even though UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones is preparing to face a former teammate in his next fight, an April 21 meeting with Rashad Evans, there’s at least one man out there “Bones” doesn’t want to battle based on personal reasons. Unfortunately for him it also happens to be an individual the MMA community is clamoring to see him face.

Anderson Silva.

Jones recently discussed the possibility of fighting Silva, who he’s developed a friendship with over the past eighteen months, and made it clear he’d rather see the dynamic middleweight title-holder in his corner rather than standing across the cage from him.

“I respect and look up to him so much,” said Jones of “The Spider” in an interview with Brazilian outlet SporTV. “For me, the ideal scenario would be having him as my mentor and learn with him after he retires. It would be great for me. That would be ideal, but the world wants to see us fighting.”

The 24-year old went on to say he would face Silva if made to even though it was not a fight he would seek. However, another option Jones is definitely behind involves a move to heavyweight.

“After beating Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans, and maybe Alexander Gustafsson in 2012, I don’t see what to do in this division, not wanting to disrespect anybody,” explained the 15-1 Jones, listing the top 205-pound contenders in the process.

Before concerning himself with any of those scenarios Jones must first get by Evans at UFC 145. The bout will mark the culmination of a yearlong feud stemming from Jones’ willingness to take Evans on for the title despite being members of Greg Jackson’s team at the time.


MMATraining Take: Jones vs. Silva would be a fantastic fight but it’s silly to look too far down the road in a sport like MMA where 1.) You can lose on any given night, and 2.) No competitor’s future is promised given the health-related risks involved. Still, I can think of few match-ups I’d prefer over that pairing, so here’s hoping Jones ends up disappointed by the end of 2012 in such a regard. Heavyweight is also intriguing, perhaps starting with a smaller guy in the 225-235 range to see how he’d fare before contemplating a top-end opponent.