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Anderson Silva explains why he scaled Octagon to greet Jon Jones after UFC 183 main event

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

For many years, Anderson Silva was considered the best MMA fighter in the world, a mythical position that most feel belongs now to Jon Jones.

Right after Silva's fight with Nick Diaz ended on Saturday, he climbed over the top of the cage and landed right in from of Jones. There will be almost surely be no match between the two, who have both said they would have no interest in such a fight. But it apparently was to show respect to Jones as the new top star of the sport.

While he never mentioned anything in specific, he said he felt Jones was a good guy, but he needed to change to be a role model for kids and appeal more to families.

Late Saturday night, Silva explained  his reasons for doing so.

"Jones is my friend," said Silva. "I talk to Jones all the time. He's young. He has all the problems. All the people hear his problems. There are problems in the world. The people talk (that) this guy is bad. He's not bad."

There are parallels between the two of them, because as talented as Silva was in setting a UFC 16-fight winning streak, a record Jones has in the past talked about as being one of his goals, fans and management weren't always as behind him as they were in recent years.

The issues were different. For Jones, none of his problems related to the bell-to-bell, but for antics like a DUI and a cocaine test positive that have kept his fan appeal from being at the level of his talent and success. For Silva, there were never issues with his actions outside the ring, but his approach to winning his fights years back with the likes of Thales Leites and Demian Maia.

But Silva is the example of how that can be turned around.

Much of that Silva has been forgotten in recent years. Silva is now more remembered for his come-from-behind submission win over Chael Sonnen, his front kick knockout of Vitor Belfort, and in a sympathetic light for the night he was carried out with a broken leg just over one year ago.

"When I talk to Jones, I say, bro, I like you bro. You need to change.  All the kids are watching you, the families are watching you. You're the best fighter now. You need to change everything."

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