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Midnight Mania! Anderson Silva says Israel Adesanya same style, but ‘not my new version’

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Anderson Silva thinks Israel Adesanya represents an interesting and exciting challenge, but he pushed back on the Last Stylebender’s characterization of the fight as between Silva and a younger, better version of himself. Transcript via

“Israel is a great fighter,” Silva said. “I think he’s super talented, he’s young, he has a brilliant future ahead in this sport. I believe he might be a version of him and he’ll become a better version of himself.

“I believe Israel is not my new version. But I think this fight is very interesting, because I believe this is the first time I have the opponent (with) the same style. That’s a good test for my martial arts skills.”

Silva also resisted comparison to basketball greats Michael Jordan and Lebron James, as Adesanya had compared them to.

“Michael Jordan and LeBron and Kobe (Bryant) is the next level. I’m normal guy, and Israel, too. But I believe this is great fight.”

Silva also opened up on his motivation to continue fighting, and revealed that his family have urged him to stop fighting, but he won’t listen.

“My legacy is trying to continue. It doesn’t matter how much old or not, because old is in your mind,” Silva said. “When people talk about, ‘Oh, you’re old’ – especially in my home, because my family, my kids say, ‘Dad, stop. You don’t need to prove nothing. Stop.’ And I say say, ‘OK, you have a dream you love, something – just do it.’ The Spider Kick team helped me a lot, and helped me with a new challenge and new energy to continue my legacy.”

‘Just do it’ doesn’t seem like a very well-reasoned rebuttal of his family’s valid points, but Anderson is doing what makes him happy, and it can be hard to argue with that. He is also convinced that he is not only going to win, but that he will fight for the title next.

“(White) said, ‘OK, if you win, you will fight for the belt,’” Silva said. “I said ‘OK, then you’ll have to give me the title shot, because I will win.’”

Will this confidence turn out to be optimism, or delusion? Some of that depends on what the 43-year-old Spider looks like on fight night. He thinks what people will see will be the ‘old Anderson’, presumably meaning not the Anderson that is old, but the Anderson of old.

“I think everybody is going to see the old Anderson, but more experienced,” Silva said. “I don’t have nothing to prove. I passed through different moments in the sport. I win, I lose. I have a lot of experience. I am just doing something for my fans. I am so happy to be back to fighting and I’m here. Every day I come to training and say, ‘Thank you God. Thank you for giving me one more opportunity to do something special.’”

Does Silva have one last special moment left against the best of the next generation? We will find out in the co-main event of UFC 234 in Australia, on February 9.


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