As one of the people who has no problem with the whole 'friends don't fight friends' mentality, for the most part, I have to say that the Silva vs. Jones fight doesn't really interest me anyway. If Anderson were regularly making trips up to 205 to fight, I might be excited by the prospect of him holding two divisional titles at once, but since he doesn't really have the intention to do too much more fighting (if any more, at all) at lightheavyweight, I'd rather he didn't fight for a title.
To respond to a few questions/comments:
I suppose it's possible. I wouldn't blame him, personally. I think Jones is a terrible matchup for him. Giving up seven inches of reach, without a substantial advantage in striking proficiency, along with a notable size disadvantage and a disadvantage in the clinch makes this a pretty rough fight for Anderson.
That said, I doubt it. I just don't think he's that interested in fighting at lightheavyweight anymore.
Jon Jones has an 84.5 inch reach. Anderson Silva has a 77.5 inch reach. So, about 7 inches in reach.
As far as how a fight would pan out if Anderson were forced to move inside, I certainly think that's something he can do. The issue, in my view, is not really his ability to move inside, but his ability to work from the clinch with Jones.
Anderson still has a greater striking proficiency than Jones, as great as Bones is. The dangerous thing about Jones (or, more accurately, one of the more dangerous things) is his ability to transition to the positions where he knows he has a substantial advantage. We've seen it his entire career: he goes where he's comfortable, then he goes to work.
You understand that Anderson is the single greatest fighter in the history of the UFC, right? He controls the records for most consecutive victories (13) and most consecutive title defenses (8). For the last five years he has a professional record of 14-0, with two fights going to decision.
Jones is a great fighter, but Anderson has been the UFC middleweight champion for longer than Jones has been fighting professionally. In fact, significantly longer.
Also, while Jones' performances have been unhesitatingly dominant, he's still at least three or four years away from having a legacy like Anderson. Anderson has defeated the best fighters in his division, basically all of them with the exception of a few guys that the UFC hasn't signed yet (Nick Diaz, Ronaldo Jacare, and MayheM Miller, though MayheM is a stretch) while Jones has beaten Shogun. He still has to defend his title (something notoriously difficult to do in the lightheavyweight division) and beat the major players in that weightclass: Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Rampage Jackson and Forrest Griffin. While I think that Jones can, and will, beat all of those guys, he's got to do it before we start seriously comparing him to Anderson Silva.
As far as Anderson vs. Georges, I'll say what I've been saying the entire time people have been talking about this fight: Anderson would destroy Georges St. Pierre.
I think that for exactly the same reason I think that Jones would be a bad matchup for Silva: Silva is bigger, has more reach, a more powerful clinch game, more power in his hands and a greater ability to stay on the outside.
Georges' wrestling is great. His ground work is textbook and very solid. His striking is very solid. Everything about his game is awesome in terms of technical ability, and his athleticism is all there. The thing is, while Georges would only be giving up an inch-and-a-half of reach (76 in to Anderson's 77.5), he's still giving up four inches of height and likely 10-15 pounds.
Is St. Pierre's wrestling as good as Chael Sonnen's? No. Dan Henderson's? No. Is his jiu-jitsu as good as Thales Leites? Demian Maia? No. I honestly don't think it's as good as Travis Lutter's.
Anderson has a lot of game that GSP has never seen before. GSP really isn't going to bring anything that Anderson hasn't faced in his career already. I just don't think it's that interesting a fight. I'd rather see Anderson continue to dominate at middleweight as the UFC continues to work to bring in solid opponents for him to fight.
Good post overall, but I disagree on the part about GSP.
You don't need to be a Sonnen or a Henderson to take Anderson down. All you need to be is a Lutter or Okami, or even an Otsuka or Takase if you go back far enough.
This is even if we are certain that Henderson and Sonnen are better MMA wrestlers than GSP. They have better creds sure, but GSP has manhandled wrestlers with outstanding creds like Koscheck, Hughes, Sherk and Fitch. Whereas Henderson has been thoroughly outgrappled by a fairly low creds wrestler in Shields.
I'd say it's decent odds on whether or not GSP is actually as good an MMA wrestler as these guys if not better. I mean the kind of insanely fast "Rush" in shoots we've seen him do which just batter guys into the cage from 6 feet away, I've never seen Henderson do.
As for submissions, who cares if his submissions are as good as Maia or Leites, who didn't have the game to use those subs on Anderson anyway. All that matters against Anderson is his sub DEFENCE, and are you really saying Anderson is a better BJJ player than BJ Penn or Matt Serra? Just compare their grappling creds or even MMA submissions.
Lastly on the point about height, how is that relevant at all? The only reason height matters is because of reach. Anderson could be 8 foot tall, but as long as he and GSP have the same amount of muscle mass and reach, Anderson's height just gives him a weak center of gravity and makes him easier to take down. GSP could still stay within striking range and take him down, as long as the reach
difference is not too high.
Apart from striking and a minor reach advantage then, the only advantage Silva has is overall muscle mass i.e. size. I think given enough time, GSP can bulk up well enough to take away a lot of that advantage. The only problem would be the harder and harder cut to WW in the meantime.