In fact, Jones became the first former Middleweight champion to win a Heavyweight title in 106 years when he gave up 35 pounds to topple hard-hitting John Ruiz back in 2003.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Jones -- who was sitting ringside last night (Sat., July 6, 2013) at UFC 162 (see pic here), which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada -- is perhaps the one man who can explain what went so wrong for Anderson Silva, who suffered the first knockout loss of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career courtesy of a Chris Weidman left hook.
"With Anderson, what I saw, was a guy who was playing because for so long now he's been wanting to box me," Jones declared in a UFC on FUEL TV interview. "I don't even think the fight with this kid, Weidman, was on his mind. I think he was really out to show he had the razzle dazzle for his boxing goals because he tried to prove a point like, 'I've done this long enough, I want to see how I do at boxing.'"
Jones calls it razzle dazzle, while others refer to it as hubris.
Regardless, the fact remains that Silva -- the greatest striker the sport has ever seen -- lost his coveted Middleweight championship to a wrestler because he refused to keep his hands up. And while his legacy is likely still intact, Silva's immediate post-fight comments about not wanting a Weidman rematch were head-scratching to say the least.
After all, the shocking knockout loss (watch it here) killed any and all possibilities of a blockbuster "super" fight with Jon Jones and/or Georges St. Pierre, according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White (read his comments here).
So, if all it took was a win over Weidman to seal the deal on a possible "Champion vs. Champion" mega match -- or even an exhibition boxing match with his idol, Jones -- one has to wonder what was going through the mind of "The Spider" after a first round in which he found himself in considerable danger.
"In this game you can't pay any disrespect to anyone who is in front of you," Jones explained. "It's the same in boxing. You don't want to see it, but it happens. Chris Weidman is a great fighter, it was a great fight, but things like that do happen, especially when you see guys not have the hunger they had or be as focused.
"It's doesn't really surprise me because it's not something he's up for -- he wants to do something else," he continued. "If you let him go get that out of his system .. he could come back [to MMA] and say, 'Okay, now that I got that out of my blood, let me go get this title and prove that I can beat this kid.' It would be hard for me not to see him beat this kid… If was serious and focused, he wouldn't have [continued] to play with him after that first round."
Indeed, White agreed with Jones, "guaranteeing" that once the slow burn of rare defeat sinks in, Silva will be motivated more than ever to get payback. However, White is not about to let Silva get Jones "out of his blood," clarifying during the UFC 162 post-fight scrum (watch it here) that "Superman" was in town to talk general turkey not hammer out exact details of a possible exhibition boxing match.
White even revealed that he has no clue if Jones is under contract with another promoter, and even if he wasn't, how the arrangement would work, particularly the money-side, which for a decorated prize fighter like Jones, is much more than the $600,000 show money White guaranteed Silva for the Weidman bout.
Despite all the uncertainty and chaos, Jones, 44, affirmed that he is still interested in a boxing match against the talented Brazilian striker.
"Of course!" he said. "It's something the world has wanted to see for a long time. It's a show, it's an event. Not a boxing match or an MMA fight, but an event with two guys who have that razzle dazzle and, when they're focused, you can't whoop 'em."