Morning Report: Jon Jones says superfight with Anderson Silva still a real possibility

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

While many fans saw their dream of a Anderson Silva-Jon Jones superfight dashed by Chris Weidman at UFC 162 in July, the light heavyweight champ remains optimistic on the possibility.

"All Anderson has to do is win his next fight (Weidman rematch, UFC 168) decisively and there's the interest right there. It's still on, the superfight," he says. "I've never really been overly anxious to face Anderson Silva though to be honest. I knew the fight could happen but I never had any desire to be the one to beat him or anything like that.

"After he lost I Tweeted about my disappointment and that him losing sucked, but it was just because watching a champion lose always sucks. It's like he's also a member of this special league of gentlemen and when you see one of the guys get taken down it sucks. But Anderson, and any thought of a superfight, well, it's still there."

Jones, who defends his title to No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson this weekend at UFC 165, has a pretty full dance card as is. Should he best Gustafsson on Saturday, he's more than likely to face Brazilain knockout artist Glover Teixeira sometime next year. Meanwhile, Silva would need to solve the riddle of the undefeated Weidman at their rematch booked for UFC 168 in December, no small task. Should Silva recapture his title, it would seem only right to hold a rubber match, likely mid-year 2014. The concept of 'superfights' is intriguing, but maybe there's a reason we haven't seen one happen yet.

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MUST-READ STORIES

Ross' Draw. After being heavily criticized for her scoring of Saturday night's Mayweather-Canelo fight, Nevada judge CJ Ross is sticking to her guns.

Fitch returns. Looking to rebound from a quick submission loss to Josh Burkman in June, Jon Fitch will face Marcelo Alfaya at WSOF 6.

Aldo on contenders. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo tells our Guilherme Cruz who he believes deserves the next shot at his title and who doesn't.

Glover talks Jones. UFC light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira tells MMA Fighting exactly why he's so confident in his future. "Jon Jones is at the top for a long time, can't say enough about him. But I have to take this belt from him. Every phenom goes down one day."

Belt envy. In an exclusive with MMA Mania, Alexander Gustafsson says he'll eat, sleep and train with the championship belt once he takes it from UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

The 181lbs lightweight. Every thought Gleison Tibau looked more like a welterweight in the Octagon? His trainers detail the process of getting him to drop 20 pounds in just four days.

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MEDIA STEW

Herb Dean on the Weidman-Silva stoppage at UFC 162.

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'The One' post-fight press conference.

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Floyd Mayweather speaks with media after his win over Canelo Alvarez.

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Bernard Hopkins breaks down why Canelo lost.

(HT to @uselessgomez)

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Bob Sheridan on MMA.

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WHOA TV! previews UFC 165.

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Make sure to check out the latest MMA Beat if you haven't already.

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Training video blogs with Alexander Gustafsson, Michael Bisping and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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Two full fights from Saturday's WSOF 5.

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2012 Aussie Olympian Jeff Horn KO's Sam Colomban.

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TWEETS

Please check out our excellent 'Pros React' on the Mayweather-Canelo fight from Saturday.

... but a few fell through the cracks.

Draw?

Just because.

Fight week.

Pretty much.

Cub wants a shot.

... and thanks for the link love.

Brutal.

Speaking of cutting weight...

On the other hand...

Happy belated birthday to Bigfoot.


Melvin with ATT.


Kapow!


I think he wants out.

Bisping Theatre.

That dang Greg Jackson again.

I'll take your word for it.


Remember, kids.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced this weekend (Sept. 13-15 2013)

Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei added at UFC Fight Night 33

Dustin Pague meets newcomer Kyogi Horiguchi at UFC 166

Paulo Thiago vs. Brandon Thatch at UFC Fight Night 32

Godofredo Castro vs. Sam Sicilia at UFC Fight Night 32

Patricio Freire vs. Fabricio Guerreiro at Bellator 103

Joe Taimanglo vs. Justin Wilcox at Bellator 103

cancelled Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 29

cancelled Tom Watson vs. Alessio Sakara at UFC Fight Night 31

added Magnus Cedenblad vs. Alessio Sakara at UFC Fight Night 31

Tom Watson out, Magnus Cedenblad in vs. Alessio Sakara at UFC Fight Night 31

Yves Edwards vs. Yancy Medeiros at UFC Fight Night 31

Jon Fitch vs. Marcelo Alfaya at WSOF 6

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via MMA Fighting member Steve Borchardt.

Bellator looks to the past rather than building for the future with Rampage vs. Tito main event

From its inception Bellator has prided itself on being the only true meritocracy in MMA. It's right there in the company tag-line: "Where Title Shots Are Earned, Not Given." Thanks to this meritocratic philosophy Bellator is a company where young athletes have a chance to rapidly rise to the top, provided they can rack up W's in quick succession.

Which must be why two aging ex-UFC stars coming off three straight losses apiece are headlining Bellator's inaugural pay per view this coming November.

But these aren't just any aging ex-UFC stars coming off three straight losses apiece mind you. Oh no, this is Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Tito Ortiz we're talking about. Never mind that these two have a combined record of 3-8 between them since 2010. After all, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away both men once wore the UFC light heavyweight championship.

You'll only be killing your own buzz if you get hung up on the fact Jackson lost his belt in 2008 and Ortiz his in 2003. Also please do your best to forget Jackson was defeated for the title by Forrest Griffin, who has since retired, and Ortiz's title reign came to an end at the hands of Randy Couture, who has also long since hung up his fingerless gloves.

C'mon, let's focus on the bigger picture here folks: no less an authority than the Spike TV website once described a battle between these two former champions as "the last true dream match the UFC could put on." Granted that was back in 2008, but you can't expect all your dreams to come true overnight. These things take time after all.

Which is exactly why Bellator had no choice but to build their PPV debut around Rampage vs. Tito. Guys like Michael Chandler, Eddie Alvarez, Pat Curran, Muhammed Lawal, and Emanuel Newton might be some of the top talents in the company, but it's just not their time to shine yet. However, given a few years, plus the rub that comes from being on shows headlined by ex-UFC champions, and these diamonds in the rough just might be shining as brightly as bonafide superstars like Tito and Rampage.

If you aren't convinced by the above arguments then congratulations: you evidently have better promoting instincts than Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.

There are few signs less promising for a distant number two promotion's future than to see them looking to the past instead of focusing on the present. Unfortunately this is exactly what Bellator is doing by pushing Ortiz vs. Jackson as the main attraction of their first PPV.

Sure, an argument can be made Ortiz and Jackson are by far the two most recognizable names on the Bellator roster and the company would be foolish not to hype their fight up as a big deal. I agree to a point, but there's a difference between heavily promoting a fight and featuring it in the main event. Jackson and Ortiz may be the two most famous fighters in Bellator, but for years what they've both been famous for is losing.

The idea of two men who dropped their past three fights in a row headlining the most important show in the history of the company "Where Title Shots Are Earned, Not Given" would be delicious in its irony if it wasn't such an ominous sign for the promotion's future.

Bellator thinks they are giving their most marketable fighters a chance to become bigger names by fighting on the same card as two "legends," but slotting a pair of UFC has-beens higher on the card than Bellator's homegrown champs sends an implicit message to fans that fighters like Chandler and Alvarez aren't a big deal. How could they be when they're playing second fiddle to two guys who can't hang in the UFC anymore?

What's most baffling about this situation is that even if Rebney doesn't understand this, executives at Spike should be well aware what happens when you tell fans the stars that need to carry your company are less important than aging main-eventers from another promotion. After all, they've been seeing the effects of this mentality first hand every week on TNA Impact for years.

Now I know pro-wrestling may be anathema for some MMA fans, but this is such an illustrative case it bears taking a look at even if you're the type who can't bring yourself to accept how inextricably linked the history of MMA is with pro wrestling.

Over Impact's eight year run on Spike, TNA has prominently featured a number of one-time stars who made their names in WWE and WCW in the 80's and 90's. The idea was these aging main eventers' star power would rub off on younger wrestlers who would in turn end up carrying the promotion. Eight years later the company still revolves around these names from the past, with the result being no lasting growth to speak of.

Despite their lack of success, TNA has been kept afloat all these years by Panda Energy, a highly profitable company owned by TNA promoter Dixie Carter's father. This means the promotion doesn't depend on generating revenue through traditional means like PPV or house shows. However, the question with TNA has always been when does Panda say enough is enough and decide to pull the plug on what has been a money losing venture for the majority of its existence?

Similarly, Bellator is owned by Spike's parent company Viacom, which gives them time to turn a profit for the multinational media giant. They could do this either through traditional means like PPV and live gates or by becoming a hit show that draws great numbers for Spike. So far they've got a long way to go by either metric.

Any would be number two promotion faces an uphill battle to get to the point where they can call themselves legitimate competition to a dominant industry leader like the UFC or WWE without being scoffed at, but focusing on the number one promotion's cast offs is a surefire way to typecast your organization as bush league in the eyes of fans.

That's bad news for those of us who want the most exciting product possible from Bellator, and even worse news for fighters who would like to see a viable big money alternative to the UFC.

In promoting, just like in life, it's impossible to move forward if one keeps living in the past. Whether or not Bellator learns this lesson will go a long way towards determining if they have a chance of making it as a legitimate money drawing promotion.

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

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