MMA fighters looking to transition to boxing is one of the biggest stories in the sport the past year, with Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather sparking the trend. What many fight fans forget is that the first proposed boxing super-fight actually involved Brazilian legend Anderson Silva.
When Silva was the middleweight king and the most dominant champion in the sport’s history, he began angling for a fight against boxing great Roy Jones Jr. The bout never came to fruition, but both sides showed interest to the point that UFC President Dana White was forced to consider the fight.
Silva remains active in the UFC at 41 years of age, and is tentatively set to fight at UFC 212 in Brazil if he can find an opponent. Asked about transitioning to the ring, Silva revealed that he was still interested in challenging Jones Jr.
"First, it was always a dream to fight a guy like Roy Jones. I’m a fan,” Silva said at the UFC 212 press conference. "Second, it was always something that I wanted. I’ve followed Roy Jones since he was an Olympic athlete, and I’ve always looked up to his style of boxing. It’s something I always wanted to do. Regardless of being in the UFC or not, it was always something I wanted to do.
"But let’s wait. So many things are happening. I never thought I would see so many of the things that are happening, so maybe it happens. Let’s wait. I hope it happens one day."
For what it’s worth, Jones Jr. also remains active at 48 years old. He last fought in February, beating bareknuckle boxer Bobby Gunn.
UFC 212’s headliner Jose Aldo is another fighter that has expressed interest in stepping into the ring. During the lowest point of his frustration with the UFC not granting him a rematch against Conor McGregor, Aldo asked for his release from the UFC so that he could pursue other combat sports. Now that he is scheduled to defend his title against Max Holloway at the June event, Aldo still says he would love to test himself in the ring.
"If it does happen, I want to be in this card, too, boxing,” Aldo said. "I’ll challenge, I don’t know, Miguel Cotto, something like that. I want to surf this wave as well. If it happens, Dana… Don’t forget me, Joe Carr. Don’t forget me because if it happens I want to fight, brother. We can go for takedowns, too. No problem."