While he didn’t get his hand raised, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva made a lasting memory on Jon Jones with his recent performance inside the Octagon. Silva suffered a decision loss to top contender Israel Adesanya at UFC 234, but impressed the reigning UFC light heavyweight titleholder.
“That loss against Israel I think was great for his stock,” Jones told MMAjunkie.com. “As an Anderson Silva fan, would I like to see him get his hand raised? Absolutely. But hats off to Israel for being so exciting and keeping the fans excited and having his own torch. As an Anderson fan, that’s exactly what we want to see. That was so beautiful; I’m so proud of him.”
Silva will continue competing despite the setback, as the 43-year-old will take on Jared Cannonier at UFC 237 in May. As for Jones, he is scheduled to defend his title this coming Saturday night at UFC 235 vs. Anthony Smith.
“I’m so proud of Anderson,” Jones said. “He did so well. I am so proud of him. He has nothing to be ashamed about. He went against a young, hungry challenger and he just proved his greatness. That performance to me was nothing short of great.”
Adesanya, unbeaten in his MMA career, will meet Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 for the interim welterweight belt. The winner of that will likely fight Robert Whittaker later this year to unify the titles.