Old will meet new at UFC 234, as 43 year-old mixed marital arts (MMA) icon Anderson Silva will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon to face off against Israel Adesanya (28) on February 9, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.
The fight could signal the passing of the torch, as Israel is the up-and-coming contender facing a living legend who is seemingly on his way out of mixed martial arts (MMA). According to “The Last Stylebender,” though, he won’t let Silva’s “greatest of all time” status rattle him.
“For me, I didn’t want to (fight him) at first. I was on record saying there is no need. But I had to do it, I had this dream. I talked to my coaches and said, ‘Yeah, this is how it it supposed to play out.’ The guy is the GOAT. But I am Nigerian and I’ve been beating eating goat since I was a kid. This is normal to me,” he said during a recent interview with UFC.
Still, Adesanya explains it was Silva who showed him that you didn’t have to be a 265-pound chiseled monster to be able to kick ass and take names. Furthermore, Israel says come fight night, he will have a good gameplan for “The Spider” since he feels he knows him better than anyone thanks to extensive film study.
“I have watched all of his fights. I know him better than he knows himself in some ways because I am on the outside looking in. I’ve watched him on DVD’s for so long and thought to myself, ‘This guy is the man.’ When I watched UFC 90 against Patrick Cote, that is the one that made me take notice,,” he added.
“He dismantled Patrick Cote. I keep saying he blew his knee out with telekinesis. That one made me look at fighting differently. That was when I barely started fighting and had this perception that you have to be Rambo, this jacked up dude to be able to fight. But I see this skinny black guy whooping everyone's ass. So I said, ‘I’m a skinny black guy, I can whoop ass.’” So he helped plant the idea that I can be the best in the world. The guy is just the Picasso of our time. He is a genius,” concluded Adesanya.
Undefeated (15-0, 4-0 UFC) so far in his MMA career, Israel will be facing the biggest test of his career against a man who despite not having he best run as of late, still has the skills to get the job done.
And he is still focused on the big prize, too.