Whether you like it or not, superfights are a constant talking point in the current mixed martial arts landscape.
A superfight usually pits two champions (although not always) against one another in a battle of generational stars. The idea has always seemed to hang around the sport of MMA, creating regular — and often meaningless — back-and-forth hypotheticals.
And despite the label, there have been very few fights that could actually be contenders for the title of “super.”
A dream match between then UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture and the elusive Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko was considered a fight with generational implications.
Later, Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva were seemingly always being mentioned as the two modern day champions who fans wanted to see mix it up most.
However, outside of perhaps Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva (2007’s Fight of the Year), there really haven’t been any in-ring collaborations that have warranted the title.
UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman hopes to change that.
Appearing on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Weidman said that his MMA career would be incomplete without one day fighting former UFC light heavyweight champion and perennial “G.O.A.T,” Jon Jones.
“I know for a fact, I’m not leaving this sport without fighting Jon,” Weidman told MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani. “Unless he’s not coming back at all. But if he’s there, and I’m here, people are going to want to see it happen. And I want to see it happen.”
Jones is currently suspended by the UFC after his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run back in April. “Bones” allegedly hit a pregnant woman in Albuquerque, N. M., fled on foot, only to return to the crash site once again to retrieve a large sum of cash, before subsequently fleeing again.
At the time of his arrest, Jones was already considered arguably the greatest fighter to ever live. Essentially undefeated after 22 fights (sans a technicality DQ against Matt Hamill) the 28-year-old’s wildly meteoric rise was put to an abrupt halt after the alleged felony.
“That’s nothing against Jon,” Weidman said about the call-out. “It’s just because I’m a competitor. I want to fight the best possible people. I want to have the biggest challenges in front of me and conquer them.
“That’s why I wanted to fight Anderson Silva when nobody else wanted to fight him. I want the biggest challenges. I want to beat people who people think I can’t beat. And Jon is definitely going to be one of those guys.”
Weidman references his back-to-back victories over Anderson Silva, who before Jones’ rise to the top of the MMA food chain was previously considered the greatest fighter in the history of the sport.
Apparently the same confidence that Weidman brought into his fights with Silva is the same confidence that leads him to believe he can topple the other greatest fighter of his generation.
Whether it could be considered a superfight is up for debate. Weidman, to his credit, has done a phenomenal job as middleweight champion. He has beaten some of the best fighters in the sport, including Silva twice.
However, he still has just four title defenses (compared to Jones’ eight) and a murderer’s row of potential middleweight contenders waiting in the weeds like Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Yoel Romero.
And let’s not forget, Weidman defends his championship against Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 on Dec. 12.
Rockhold is viewed by many as one of the most explosive prospects the division has seen in years. So, Weidman has some serious work to put in before (if) Jones comes back.
“He’s an amazing athlete and he’s accomplished so much,” Weidman said. “So I hope he gets his stuff together and he comes back.”
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