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Dana White suckered Anderson Silva into Israel Adesanya fight by promising him UFC title shot

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Esther Lin

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, was offered a contract to fight Israel Adesanya at the upcoming UFC 234 pay-per-view (PPV) event this February in Australia.

He said no.

“Initially, Anderson said no and I was kind of like ‘Fuck.’ I mean it’s kind of good I don’t have to like kill my hero,” Adesanya told The MMA Hour.

So the promotion switched gears and tried to book “The Last Stylebender” opposite top middleweight contender, Ronaldo Souza, but “Jacare” was licking his wounds from his Chris Weidman victory at UFC 230.

“Then yesterday I get the call from my trainer saying ‘Jacare’ needs more time to prepare,” Adesanya continued. “So he said he has to recover first and get better. Then my coach just said Anderson came back and said yes. So, in my head I was like ‘I wonder why. I wonder what actually changed his mind. Who got in his ear?’”

Now we have our answer.

“Dana came to Los Angeles to talk to me,” Silva told ESPN. “I said to him, ‘Why am I going to take this fight?’ And Dana said, ‘You know, you win this fight, you go to the title belt.’ I said, ‘OK, now you are talking good business for me.’ At first, I talked to Dana about a fight with McGregor, because McGregor challenged me. Maybe that will be my second fight after this layoff. We’ll see.”

McGregor sounds like he’s game.

The Adesanya fight was not made without criticism, as the 15-0 kickboxing phenom is still just 29 years old and in the prime of his combat sports career. Silva (34-8, 1 NC), meanwhile, turns 44 next April and has competed just once over the last two years, a questionable decision win over Derek Brunson, the same Brunson who got smoked by Adesanya at UFC 230.

Is normal.