In what will likely go down as a classic moment in MMA history, last weekend Jon “Bones” Jones was approached in-cage moments after beating Ryan Bader with the opportunity to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua this March in his injured teammate Rashad Evans’ stead.
The match up is one that promises excitement and, if Ticketmaster sales are any indication, the MMA community is buzzing with anticipation for this fight between two of the most dynamic fighters in the game. Despite the fact that Rua-Jones could be one of the best fights this year, some have their minds on a prospective bout between Rua and his former Chute Boxe teammate Anderson Silva. Silva defended his belt against Vitor Belfort on the same night Jones was awarded a title shot, earning a spectacular knockout over his fellow Brazilian. For the same reason that people are excited about Rua-Jones, they are excited at a speculative match up between Silva and Rua.
In a recent interview with Tatame.com (props to MMAMania), Rua explained that he is willing to fight Silva some time down the road, but is currently only focusing on Jonny “Bones.”
“Now I’m focused on Jon Jones. It’s a sin to speak about my next fight when I’m thinking about a man like Jon Jones,” Rua said. “So I’m focused on him, but I already answered. It’s obvious I’d fight Anderson. I respect him as a friend and professional, but I also am a professional. Yes, I’d fight him.”
Before Rua and Silva ever square off, “Shogun” has to defend his title against rising star Jon Jones this March 19th at UFC 128 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.