Contrary to the new UFC rankings, Jon Jones doesn’t believe Anderson Silva losing makes him the best fighter in the world.
The reigning UFC light heavyweight champ has now been promoted to the top of UFC.com’s pound-for-pound rankings following Silva’s loss to Chris Weidman over the weekend.
During the UFC 165 press conference on Tuesday, Jones fielded questions from the media on Silva’s loss and being branded as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world:
To become No. 1 because Anderson lost doesn’t make me feel like I really accomplished anything. So I’m going to work extremely hard to become the No. 1 light heavyweight ever in the sport to eventually creep up on some of the things that Anderson Silva has done in his career. So yeah, it doesn’t really do too much for me. It doesn’t feel real, it doesn’t feel earned.
Jones and Silva have recently become unofficial rivals in the MMA community.
With Georges St-Pierre constantly shying away from superfight talk, fans began rallying behind a potential dream fight between Jones and Silva. Sadly, Silva pretty much shot down any hope of the fight coming to fruition during a media luncheon leading up to UFC 162.
There has always been a deep, underlying respect shared between Jones and Silva. In an interview with ESPN Radio, Jones called a fight with Silva a “lose-lose situation.” He has always looked to Silva as somewhat of a role model in the sport, and he never wanted to be the person to end the near-seven-year title run.
Fortunately for Jones, he’ll never have to be.
Weidman shocked the world in the main event of UFC 162 by knocking out Silva and winning the middleweight title.
Like many fans that night, Jones was disappointed to see his idol finally defeated. Immediately after the fight, he posted “This sucks” on his Twitter page. The post has since been removed completely from the page.
Jones explained his reasoning for posting the message during the press conference:
Initially, I thought it sucked. Anderson Silva is a guy that I look up to a lot, and to see a great champion go down always sucks. So yeah, my initial reaction was like, ‘Wow, this sucks.’ I just tweeted.
Jones will have an opportunity to continue to prove his placement when he meets top light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson on September 21. As Silva found out, it’s a lot of weight to carry when you’re constantly referred to as the baddest man on the planet.
How will Jones respond?
Jordy McElroy is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon MMA.