Talk of a fight between Silva and Jones really speaks to how the UFC's willingness to indulge fantasy fights has bred a fan base largely unsatisfied with the way combat sports have and should continue to function. It has always been my expectation that the "any weight class, any time" philosophy is something that would eventually have been done away with in mixed martial arts, and that fans would eventually take taken notice of how well trained fighters of this era have become; unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case.
A fight between Anderson Silva and Jon Jones is a fight that Anderson Silva would likely lose, mostly because of how every advantage would go to Jones. Jon Jones is 23 years old with a phenomenal wrestling pedigree, an apocalyptic top game, an 84.5 inch reach, and a style that takes utilizes his size and power to their absolute fullest potential. Anderson Silva is closing in on 36 years old, with a 77.6 inch reach, has been through multiple surgeries, seems to be fairly injury prone at this stage of his career, and has a porous wrestling game to boot.
If St. Pierre vs. Silva is about legacy, then Jones vs. Silva is about "The Spider" finally suffering a loss in the UFC. It's starting to seem as though Anderson Silva has reached a point in his career where people are far more interested in seeing him in a fight with the greatest probability of losing than they are seeing him face off against his rightful next contender. After Vitor Belfort put poor Matt Lindland into a coma in 2009, he was viewed as the most dangerous threat to Anderson Silva, and because of that the UFC leapfrogged Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt in favor of "The Phenom." In 2010, Chael Sonnen was able to take four rounds from Silva before being soundly defeated by the Brazilian in the final frame. Despite the fact that he got tapped, the public cried out for the UFC to award Sonnen a rematch in hopes that he could repeat the performance, sans the fight finishing triangle choke from Anderson Silva.
There is no doubt that a man who could throw around Matt Hamill and Ryan Bader could do the same to a man who not too long ago competed at 167 pounds. Would Jon Jones crushing Anderson Silva really prove that Jones is a better fighter? Is this really how badly people would like to see Anderson Silva lose? How far away are we from having Anderson Silva square off against a lion, armed with only a whip and a chair? If Jon Jones keeps winning, is the public going to demand he fight Brock Lesnar?