When one door closes, another one usually opens. But this time, probably not.
Earlier today, news broke that Roy Jones Jr. had agreed to face Anderson Silva in a MMA match in the UFC, which Dana White subsequently shot down.
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t another MMA match-up out there for Jones. The Cesar Gracie camp is trying yet again to get Nick Diaz a fight with Jones, and this time they claim they have Strikeforce backing them up.
After reports surfaced that Dana White had nixed the idea of a fight between Roy Jones Jr and Anderson Silva occuring in the UFC, Strikeforce founder, Scott Coker, agreed to make the fight happen in Strikeforce. Nick Diaz would be fighting Roy Jones Jr.under MMA rules.
“We would absolutely set this fight up. Of course we would have to run it by Showtime for final approval, but I don’t see why we wouldn’t have this fight” -Scott Coker
It now seems that the only hope of seeing one of the legends of boxing stepping into a cage will be through Strikeforce.
The only problem, besides the obvious one of whether Jones would even be interested (his camp has yet to say a word about it), is Strikeforce and Showtime aren’t quite as interested as Gracie’s website leads us to believe.
MMA Junkie followed up with Showtime exec Ken Hershman and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, and neither seem too receptive to the idea, despite what Coker was quoted as saying on GracieFighter.com.
“I get a Roy Jones call once a week pitching me things,” Hershman said on today’s Strikeforce media call. “[A fight between Diaz and Jones Jr.] would be a very long shot of ever happening…We’re looking to build the best mixed martial arts brand. I believe we have the best professional boxing brand on television, and I think our fights month in and month out prove that. I don’t see the need to combine the two at the moment.”
“I’ve had several calls from different people saying, ‘Roy Jones vs. Nick Diaz, Roy Jones vs. Cung Le, Roy Jones vs. this guy or that guy, but it’s something that we haven’t really talked about,” Coker said. “I really don’t even know how serious it is. But the question is, ‘Does he want to fight in MMA? Does he want to fight in just boxing?’ These are all things that haven’t been fleshed out.
“I did get a call from Nick’s manager asking me if I’d be interested in looking at a fight between Roy Jones and Nick. I said, ‘Are you talking about boxing? Are you talking about MMA?’ He says, ‘In MMA.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s something we can definitely have a conversation about. That just happened this morning. That’s the extent of it.”
While a Diaz-Jones Jr. fight might be intriguing inside and outside the cage in that guilty pleasure kind of way, it definitely doesn’t sound like this one is going to happen either. Looks like Jones only option at this point is to wait for Anderson Silva, or promote his own MMA match, something I imagine he’s not too interested in unless a tall lanky Brazilian with serious skills is staring across the ring from him.