source: John Morgan | mmajunkie.com
TORONTO – After defeating his third former champion in a nine-month span, current UFC light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones (15-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) is unquestionably among the hottest fighters in the entire sport of mixed martial arts.
In fact, UFC president Dana White is now certain "Bones" has leapfrogged Canadian welterweight titleholder Georges St-Pierre and should now be considered the second-best fighter on the planet.
But if a potential meeting between Jones and the man White (and most everyone else) considers the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Anderson Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC), piques your interest, don't get carried away.
"I don't see that fight happening anytime soon," White said at this weekend's UFC 140 post-event press conference at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
The past 12 months have provided an interesting shift in dynamics. When the UFC first visited Toronto earlier this year, the "superfight" on everybody's mind was Silva vs. St-Pierre. But "GSP" hasn't competed since April, and his next appearance won't come for at least 10 months due to a torn ACL.
Meanwhile, Jones has made former champs Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Lyoto Machida look downright pedestrian, earning stoppage wins over all three.
And of course, Silva owns an incredible 14-fight octagon win streak, compiled over a five-year stretch.
So thorough is Silva's destruction of the middleweight division that despite wins over names like Vitor Belfort, Patrick Cote, Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, Chris Leben, Thales Leites, Travis Lutter, Demian Maia, Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami and Chael Sonnen, the Brazilian's detractors suggest his dominance is more a byproduct of a poor division rather than his own skills.
Add in Silva's two excursions to the light heavyweight division, as well as the striking similarities between his own lanky frame and creative gameplans to Jones' revolutionary approach ("The Spider" has certainly never crawled forward like one to open a fight), and the potential matchup certainly takes on a "dream fight" feel.
However, White doesn't feel the timing is right.
"I just think Jon Jones is young," White said. "He's 24 years old. He's just getting out there and fighting all the best in the light heavyweight division.
"What people have to realize, too, is Anderson Silva is 37 years old. They're in two different weightclasses."
Cold showers, everyone.
With four fights in 2011, Jones is expected to remain inactive for the next four-to-five months before facing the winner of UFC on FOX 2's Phil Davis vs. Rashad Evans contest (though Henderson also looms on the horizon for a potential rematch).
Meanwhile, Silva is nursing an injured shoulder and will return in May or June against the winner of the January matchup between Mark Munoz and Chael Sonnen.