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Superfights? Vitor Belfort? Roy Jones? Dana White ponders Anderson Silva's options

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

LAS VEGAS -- Anderson Silva could engage in a superfight with Jon Jones. Or one with Georges St-Pierre. Or he could rematch Vitor Belfort. Or he could even pursue his long held, if slightly bizarre, dream of boxing an aging Roy Jones Jr.

The UFC middleweight champion hasn't yet defended his title against undefeated Chris Weidman, a match which goes down on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 162.

But the 38-year old Silva won't be around forever, so it's natural to speculate on where he may go from here. In a gathering of reporters following the UFC 162 press conference in the MGM Grand lobby on Thursday, UFC president Dana White spent as much time talking about the longest-reigning champion's future options as he did hyping the Weidman fight.

"Anderson Silva wants to fight a superfight, either way," White said.

Speculation on a fight with either light heavyweight champion Jon Jones or welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre has long run rampant. At this stage of the game, White is convinced St-Pierre wants no real part of Silva.

"There's no doubt about it. That's a fact," White said. "If that was the case, he'd say f- Weidman, I'll take that fight, I want that fight, I really think Weidman's going to beat him, [but] I don't want Weidman to have that fight. I want to be the guy to beat him."

If a superfight didn't pan out, there's always the possibility of a title rematch with Vitor Belfort, who has looked impressive with consecutive knockouts of Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold.

The problem, of course, is that Silva already fought Belfort. And didn't just fight him, but scored a face-kick knockout in an all-time highlight-reel moment. When you're at the point Silva is in his career, you've got more leverage on picking and choosing your opponents than the average fighter.

So the problem for White is in trying to sell his occasionally tempermental star on the bout.

"He's looked great," White said. "But the hard position that Vitor is in is when you talk about a rematch for him, it's like, [Silva] kicked him in the face in the first 60 seconds in one of the most devastating knockouts of all-time. So when you go back to Anderson Silva, who's in the twilight of his career, and you say to a guy like Anderson, 'Eh, what about Vitor?' He'd say, 'I annihilated Vitor. I made it look like Vitor isn't even a fighter we should have been fighting.'

"I'm not saying Vitor couldn't get the next shot or couldn't get a shot soon," White continued. "But if you're Anderson Silva, you're like, 'I'm looking for another challenge. I want to fight GSP. I want to fight Jon Jones or somebody different than Vitor Belfort.'

White also indicated that Roy Jones Jr., whom Silva has spoken of fighting for years, will be in attendance on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Regardless of who Silva faces going forward, White says he's not looking for the inevitable day when the greatest fighter in MMA history decides to walk away.

That day that comes when that man says he's going to retire, it's going to suck," he said. "It's literally like when Michael Jordan went away in basketball. ... You took it for granted right up until the time he left. I think it's going to be the same way with Anderson."

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