LAS VEGAS - Jon Jones is close to the point in his title reign that all long-term champions inevitably reach, the one in which they start thinking about superfights.
But Jones, who defends his UFC light heavyweight championship against Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC 182 on Jan. 3, is forever ruling out talk of one such fight right away: Don't expect him to square off with Anderson Silva.
"I would never want to fight Anderson. Never. Ever," Jones said at Monday's UFC media day.
Jones, who said he hopes to train with Silva at the TUF gym while both are in town, explains why he considers the bout off-limits.
"I just look up to him so much," Jones said. "And he's just...I don't have many people that I've looked up to in my lifetime and think, ‘wow, how cool would it be to be that guy.' Look at what he's done. Jordan, LeBron, Anderson, Kobe, I consider them all in the same type of class. The Jeters. Athletes of that caliber don't come around that often. I don't want to be the guy to beat him. Even though that's happened already, I wouldn't want to lose to him and I don't want to beat him. "
Jones, who has made seven successful defenses of the light heavyweight title he won from Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in March 2011, essentially has two challengers of note on his horizon, the first being Cormier, and the second, the winner of the Alexander Gustafsson-Anthony Johnson fight, slated for Jan. 24 in Sweden.
After that? It sounds like Jones has given plenty of thought to competing one weight class up.
"[After] those two fights, I would consider the division clear, and that's when I would start to entertain superfights," Jones said. "Superfights I would go for. I've been training with heavyweights for years now. I know what it feels like, and I think I would do really good against them. So that would be the next chapter."
Jones, who walks around at 230 pounds, feels he could bulk up to 235-240 and make a real go of it. Even right now he feels he'd fare well against current UFC interim heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum who is of a similar weight.
"There are definitely a lot of heavyweights that I know I would beat," Jones said. "A lot of heavyweights that could give me a hell of a run or possibly beat me. I keep it real. I'm smaller than these guys."
"A guy like Werdum, I would fight him every day, all day," Jones continued. "Why? Because he's not the biggest guy. But the heavyweights I believe would give me the hardest time are the big ones. Not necessarily the better skilled ones -- just the bigger ones. You shoot in and they sprawl out on you, that's going to take a lot of energy to finish that shot, you know what I mean?"