Fight fans don’t really know for sure if Anderson Silva will make his final walk to the Octagon tomorrow night (Sat., Feb. 9, 2019) at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia, but the former middleweight king sure made it seem that way earlier tonight at the official weigh ins (video replay here).
After stepping on the scale at 186 pounds to make his co-main event bout with rising contender Israel Adesanya official, Silva delivered an extremely emotional message to all of his fans across mixed martial arts (MMA).
“Uh,” began Silva (shown above courtesy of UFC). “Thank you guys, thank you. I worked my entire life in this sport, and I tried to do my best. And I say thank you God for giving me one more time … to give a great show for you guys.”
“Thank you so much.”
Silva, 43, is widely considered one of the best fighters of all time. But having not fought in nearly two years since a decision win over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 — Silva’s only victory since a TKO over Stephan Bonnar back in 2012 — the Brazilian legend has much to prove this weekend in Melbourne.
As for Adesanya, who has been compared to Silva since his UFC arrival one year ago, got a little emotional himself before settling in and showing his game face.
Fandom goes out the window tomorrow night. @Stylebender #UFC234 pic.twitter.com/krD4aaY8vw— UFC (@ufc) February 9, 2019
“He’s trying to make me cry – (expletive) him,” Adesanya said. “First of all, Melbourne, what’s up? Big shout out to everyone who came from around the world to watch the show. And a special shout out – he’s trying to make me cry for real – to everyone from Auckland that came through. I appreciate you.”
Only time will tell if Silva can turn back the clock, lean on his emotions, and earn one last UFC title shot.
UFC 234 will be headlined by a middleweight title fight pitting current champion Robert Whittaker against surging contender Kelvin Gastelum.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 234 fight card on Saturday, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.