Professional boxer Roy Jones Jr., in the latest attempt to organize a fight with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, has offered to fight “The Spider” in the UFC octagon instead of the boxing ring, but UFC President Dana White has nixed the contest.
“You won’t see a Silva versus Jones fight while Silva is under contract with me,” White told CBS Sports on Tuesday. “I don’t want to say anything bad about Roy Jones, I like Roy Jones and was a fan of his, but he mattered like fifteen years ago. He’s not anywhere near the best boxer in the world. He must’ve spent all his money.”
“I could do it, make it huge, make money, but I could have done a fight like this when we were bleeding money [in the early 2000s],” White continued. “The fight would make some money, but it hurts MMA in the long term. We don’t do that because we love the sport. That’s a Pride or K-1 matchup. It’s not what we do.”
Rumors of a Jones Jr.-Silva bout date back to March 2008, when it was rumored that the two would square off later in the year under boxing rules. Days later it was confirmed that Silva and Jones Jr. would not be squaring off but rumors and reports have surfaced over the last year indicating the pair still intended to work on making the match happen.
Jones Jr. was last in action in March, defeating Omar Sheika via fifth-round TKO on the boxing-MMA hybrid March Badness card, while Silva scored a unanimous decision over Thales Leites last month and will return to the octagon in August for a matchup with Forrest Griffin.