Wednesday, 30 March 2011

PENICK: Step aside GSP, Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva the most intriguing super-fight after UFC 128

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Step aside, Georges St. Pierre, there's a new super fight in town for fans to think about and bandy over ad nauseum.

Following his absolutely dominating victory over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 on Saturday night, Jon "Bones" Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history, and set himself up for a fight against teammate Rashad Evans for the belt later this year. But after that, the fight a lot of people will want to see is Jones against another man who has dominated competition throughout his UFC career: Anderson Silva.

"The Spider" hasn't had a desire to jump back up to 205 lbs. due to his dominance at middleweight, and the fact that some friends and teammates have been up at the top of the division. However, with Jones now on top, many will see that matchup as one of the most interesting the UFC could put together right now.

With Silva's destruction of Forrest Griffin and James Irvin at 205 lbs., he's already got a proven track record of success at the weight. And though he'd be giving up size to Jones much like GSP would to him, the difference wouldn't be as drastic as the potential Silva vs. GSP bout would be.

With GSP not showing a huge interest in going up for the Silva fight, and Silva having at least one real challenger left for his belt in the middleweight division in Yushin Okami, a Jones-Silva fight at the end of the year or in early 2012 is the way to go.

Jones needs to fight Rashad Evans next, but after that fight things are murky as all hell at light heavyweight. There are a lot of former champions hanging around the top of the division, and with no clear challengers in line after Evans, Silva jumping up after a win over Okami sometime this year would be excellent.

With the way in which Jones won the fight against Shogun, it's hard to see anyone at 205 lbs. that has a real chance at dethroning the 23-year-old phenom. With how unbeatable Silva himself has been inside the Octagon, this would make for an epic matchup for the UFC and for both fighters.

Georges St. Pierre doesn't have to make the move up in weight. He's a perfect size for the welterweight division and has reigned atop for the last several years. If he defeats Jake Shields next month, there's nothing wrong with him staying the champ at welterweight and continuing to exert his dominance over that division. Even though he'd end up in a number of rematches, there's something to be said for him having a long reign.

Jones-Silva simply now makes more sense for me, and though I'm at this point firmly entrenched in the belief that Jones may be as close to unbeatable as any fighter we've seen in the UFC. Barring injury, he may just be the man who crushes "The Spider." Though "The Machida Era" ended up being far too premature, Jones' era is truly just beginning. This would be an incredible opportunity for the UFC to put together a massive superfight that simply makes more sense than the one they've talked about with GSP.


Cody Guinn Jorge Gurgel Andre Gusmao Alexander Gustafsson Jaime Gutierrez

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