This weekend, in the co-main event of UFC 234, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva make his long-awaited return to the cage, where he will battle a dangerous member of the new generation of fighter: Israel Adesanya.
If you ask Anderson Silva to identify the fighter that most accurately represents the ongoing evolution of MMA, however, he will not drop the name of his upcoming opponent.
Instead, he’ll name Jon Jones.
“He’s an excellent fighter,” he told ESPN. “I consider him like a younger brother and I believe he is the evolution of this sport.”
Given their statuses as two of the best fighters ever, many fans have expressed interest in a fight between Jon Jones and Anderson Silva.
Speaking very openly, however, Silva admitted that he believes Jones would beaten him if they’d crossed paths in their primes.
“Jon Jones,” he said, when asked who would have won a fight between them had they fought at their peaks.
While Jon Jones still appears to be in his competitive prime, Anderson Silva is undeniably in the dusk of his career.
In fact, UFC President Dana White believes the middleweight legend could well hang up the gloves if he experiences a knockout loss against Israel Adesanya at UFC 234.
“I don’t know. I would probably imagine [it would be the end],” White told TMZ when asked what would happen if Silva was knocked out. “But, who knows with this guy.”
Who do you think would have won a fight between Anderson Silva and Jon Jones? Make your pick in the comments section below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/7/2019.