We can now add one name to the list of Anderson Silva’s doubters… Anderson Silva.
The UFC middleweight champion, who is often perceived as the greatest fighter in mixed martial arts history, may doubt his own ability. At least his own ability as compared to Jon Jones.
“Jon Jones, in his class, is the best,” Silva told mmafighting.com. “If I fight Jon Jones, I don’t think I’m going to win.”
When asked if he had any advantage over Jones, his answer was “more experience, but that’s [it].”
The 38-year-old Silva has a career record of 33-4, with 16 of those coming in the UFC, tied in second for the most all time. He has the most career knockouts in UFC history with 11, more than Chuck Liddell and Vitor Belfort. He is scheduled to take on Chris Weidman at UFC 162, July 6.
Given Silva’s impressive resume, his praise for Jones should not be taken lightly.
"Jon Jones is different," he added. "He’s large. He’s young. I see in Jon Jones, [what I saw] in myself a long time ago."
Any young fighter would love the comparison.
Jones has enjoyed unprecedented levels of success for a 25-year-old. His career record is 19-1, with 9 knockouts and 3 submissions. He is currently the UFC light heavyweight champion, which he won at UFC 128, in 2011, becoming the youngest to win it in history.
The root of Jones’ ability may be his raw athletic talent. At 6 ft 4, 204 lb, with a reach of nearly 85 inches Jones is in a class all by himself.
By the end of his career, Jones may achieve accolades not yet seen by the UFC. It could be argued that he might even finish as the greatest mixed martial arts fighter in history.
To do that though, he would have to surpass the records of Silva, who from the sound of it might just be his biggest supporter.