LAS VEGAS – Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva's world got turned upside down on Saturday, as did Dana White's. However, the UFC president said it didn't necessarily halt plans for a potential boxing match between Silva and veteran boxer Roy Jones Jr.
Prior to Saturday's UFC 162 pay-per-view event in Las Vegas, White discussed the possibility of the 38-year-old Brazilian testing his boxing chops against 44-year-old Jones, largely at Silva's request. And just because Silva suffered a second-round TKO loss and surrendered his belt to Chris Weidman, the boxing possibility isn't necessarily on the shelf, he said.
"Oh no," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) when asked about it. "Roy is still saying, 'Let me tell you what we can do.' He was saying all kinds of s---. He still wants that fight."
Jones was cageside for Saturday's event and met with White. However, like most fans at MGM Grand Garden Arena, he got a bit of a surprise when the main event played out. Jones, like most cageside observers, figured Silva (33-5 MMA, 16-1 UFC) was just getting warmed up as he taunted and teased Weidman (10-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) toward the end of the first round.
"He said, 'He's done! He's done! He's in his head. This fight's over already. This fight's over right now this round!'" White said of Jones. "He was meaning Silva was going to beat him. Then halfway through the second round, that whole f--ing side of the arena was like, 'Holy s---.'"
Before we go on, let's remember one key fact: As far as big-money fights go, a Weidman vs. Silva rematch is about as big as it gets. It's the type of blockbuster that could headline the UFC's planned Super Bowl weekend event in Newark, N.J. – or really any major show. And even though Silva, who ultimately was floored with a second-round left hook, suggested his days chasing a title are over, White all but assured the rematch will happen.
Still, that doesn't mean White's going to pass up the opportunity to discuss a long-shot possibility with Jones, whom White said he's known for a couple decades. Sure, he has no idea how such a proposition would work logistically, and deciding who would promote it and how the revenue would be a split is likely to curb any real possibility of it ever happening. But the loss to Weidman won't be the sole reason.
"Even if Anderson came back out in that second round and knocked him out, I still don't know what the answer was," White said. "I brought him out here to talk. A crazy fight like that, like a boxing match between two guys, you've got to sit down and find out what expectations are. What are your expectations? What do you want to get out this thing? What are you thinking?"
Still, White believes that ultimately, Silva's desire to redeem himself against Weidman could delay any plans with Jones.
"Anderson plays a lot of things off publicly," White said. "The guy went on this win streak because he's an amazing competitor and is an amazing talent. He's going to want to redeem himself."