Morning Report: Anderson Silva cracks open door to Jon Jones superfight, would have to be non-title catchweight

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Look, I get it. We're spoiled. We have a perfectly good superfight on our hands with Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre. People have waited years to see this, and now it's a real-life, legitimate possibility. And we just can't stop complaining.

But you know what? Who cares? I'm perfectly content with being a spoiled brat on this one. Silva vs. GSP is interesting, sure, but Silva vs. Jon Jones is where the real money is at. Rarely do the two most dominant fighters on the planet compete at comparable weight classes. It wouldn't just be the biggest fight of the decade, it'd be the biggest fight in the history of the sport. And that isn't hyperbole.

Yet neither man has been even the tiniest bit receptive to the idea. Or, at least, it looked that way until Silva nudged the door open to Brazilian outlet SporTV yesterday.

It wasn't exactly the most ringing of endorsements, but it's definitely a far cry from where Silva was last week. UFC President Dana White has already made it clear he'd be willing to pay whatever it took to get this mother-of-all-superfights on the books, declaring at the UFC 153 post-fight press conference, "I know [Silva] says 'no, no, no' to Jon Jones, but for the amount of money that will be offered for that fight, he will say 'yes, yes, yes.'" And apparently, it hasn't taken long for the call of the almighty dollar to get to work.

"My weight class is 185, my belt is of that weight class," Silva said (translation via Bloody Elbow). "But people are talking so much about this, and we are employees of the UFC. Of course, I could be saying that I don't want it, but what if (Jones) goes out and accepts the money Dana is proposing for him to fight? It will be hard (not to accept it). It's not the money that motivates me to fight, I fight because I like it. So, I don't know. I wouldn't like (to fight him). But if it's going to happen, it would have to be at a catchweight. The belt shouldn't be at play. I already have mine."

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the MMA equivalent to Lloyd Christmas' immortal question. So you're telling me there's a chance?

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Silva talks Jones superfight. Speaking with Brazil's SporTV, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva nudged open the door to a historic superfight against Jon Jones, saying neither man's UFC belt should be up for grabs and, "If it's going to happen, it would have to be at a catchweight."

Riddle, Rivera suspended. Welterweight fighter Matt Riddle and featherweight Francisco Rivera earned 90-day suspensions retroactive to July 21 for failing UFC 149 post-fight drug tests. Riddle tested positive for marijuana while Rivera tested positive for an undisclosed over-the-counter stimulant.

Soares: Silva is bigger than LeBron. Anderson Silva's manager, Ed Soares, said of his client's exploding popularity in Brazil: "He's bigger than Kobe Bryant and LeBron James here. It's crazy. Every time I go there, I don't think it can get any bigger, but he seems to get even bigger."

UFC 153 medical suspensions. Fabio Maldonado was one of five fighters to receive 180-day medical suspensions in the wake of UFC 153. Maldonado, who was on the wrong end of a one-sided destruction from Glover Teixeira, requires neurological clearance before he can return to training.

Strikeforce loans out Mein. Top Strikeforce welterweight Jordan Mein will fight UFC veteran Forrest Petz at The Score Fighting Series on Nov. 23 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Mein is "on loan" from Strikeforce during the promotion's extended break.

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MEDIA STEW

Now that he's out of jail, Jeremy Stephens released this video blog to update everyone on his current legal situation.

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This YouTube comment sums this clip up better than anything: "Remember to always yell out the name of the attack you are doing."

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I've been on a real kick for old fight videos lately, and I can't tell what's better about Georges St-Pierre's professional debut: 1.) the gnarly 80's music at the beginning, 2.) the fact that GSP looked exactly the same in 2002 as he does now, or, 3.) that he fought a guy who currently resides in the UFC bantamweight division.

(HT: Reddit)

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For my money, Dominick Cruz wins this round of Ultimate Answers. A morning person, I am not. (International geo-blocked users, check this out.)

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Yep, it's settled. Every Anderson Silva tribute video has to be narrated by Christopher Walken.

(HT: Reddit)

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Just a picture of Andy cruising around Brazil on a radical motorized skateboard. Nothing to see here.

Anderson_roboboard_small_medium

(via Globo)

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CLARIFICATION

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I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE

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LIL' NOG WANTS IT

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PET PEEVE

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NO VALUE IN BEING 'RELATIVELY UNKNOWN'

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Thursday, October 18, 2012):

N/A

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from Steve Borchardt, who asks: Can Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen save The Ultimate Fighter?

It wasn't a coincidence that news broke about UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former middleweight contender Chael Sonnen being selected as the next coaches of The Ultimate Fighter just four days after the struggling franchise pulled in a series low 624,000 viewers. Despite Dana White's bluster some weeks back that TUF was "a home run" for FX in the males 18-34 demographic, it's obvious the show is in serious trouble.

How much trouble? Well, for one thing it was down 151,000 viewers from the prior series low which brought in just 775,000 viewers in week three. What's even scarier if you're the UFC is that week five of the previous season of TUF drew what was then a franchise low of 947,000 viewers. That's a 34% decrease in viewership from what was considered an abysmal rating back in April. Given that the current season is only at week five and ratings have been continually trending downward it's entirely possible viewership could plummet even further. This isn't good news for a company that considers TUF its flagship series.

The UFC is banking on the dynamic between the controversial Jones and the equally polarizing Sonnen breathing new life into a show that has grown unquestionably long in the tooth. In theory it sounds like a great idea. Sonnen has a proven track record of being able to drum up interest in his fights with his pro-wrestling style interviews and Jones is a big star who fans feel like they don't know very well thanks to what they perceive as his manufactured persona. The prospect of seeing the brash Sonnen needling the overly-sensitive Jones for weeks on end sounds like a compelling concept.

There's only one problem though. At this point the idea of 16 unknown fighters living in a house together and vying for a UFC contract is anything but compelling.

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in Monday's column.

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