Over the last few years, Ultimate Fighting Championship legend Anderson Silva, and former multi-division boxing megastar Roy Jones, Jr. have been open about their mutual respect and interest in competing against each other in the boxing ring. Although the booking was campaigned for by Silva at the height of his UFC middleweight title run, the promotion never allowed him to have a one-off bout against the man he has long admired.
Anderson Silva pours cold water on hopes of Roy Jones fight
Now, with “The Spider” officially out of the MMA game and focusing all his powers on a career in boxing, this moment in time seems ripe for the dream match to happen. Especially after Jones, Jr. ended his retirement in 2020 to face heavyweight great Mike Tyson in a boxing exhibition for Triller Fight Club.
Yet, despite the combat sports moons seemingly aligned, it looks like that fight is a dead issue. On the media call for Silva’s latest foray into boxing against another MMA great in Tito Ortiz, the 46-year-old explained that his highly sought-after dream fight, with a major inspiration in his career, isn’t happening.
“I’ve talked about this fight for many, many years. First of all, I respect and am a big fan of Roy Jones. I tried to copy Roy Jones my entire life because he’s amazing. I don’t think this fight will happen right now. But I keep in touch with Mr. Jones a lot. And he talked to me when I fought with Chavez, Jr., he gave me good luck, and I asked him something about things I can do [in the fight],” Silva said. “When I started in UFC, I watched him a lot. [His highlight] videos. Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee [too]. This inspired me a lot. But I think the fight is not happening anymore.”
Silva’s coaches have to often inform him, he is no Jones, Jr.
As the Brazilian tells it, the Florida native has been a major influence in his fight style for much of his career. Even down to taunting fighters to come and fight him in the center of the Octagon, and dropping his hands when striking with foes. It is something he has tried to bring with him into his new boxing career as well. However, it is a hallmark that his new boxing coach is trying to train out of him by informing the MMA legend he is not Roy Jones, Jr.
“I’m so happy to try to do the same [that] Mr. Roy Jones do inside the ring. My coaches don’t like it too much. I try to copy [him] because he inspired me a lot. Of course, Muhammad Ali too, but it’s a different level. My coach tells me everyday, ‘You’re not Roy Jones, Jr. Put your hands up and stop.’ And I say, ‘okay, I’m going to try,’ Silva said with a sly smile.”
Silva’s made a successful transition into boxing in June with a split-decision victory over former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. His follow-up against Ortiz will be in an eight-round co-main event matchup for Triller Fight Club’s card on September 11. The event is headlined by boxing legend Oscar Dela Hoya as he returns from retirement to face MMA great, and former Silva opponent, Vitor Belfort.
Are you disappointed that Anderson Silva vs Roy Jones, Jr. won’t ever happen?