Anderson Silva And Israel ‘Stylebender’ Adesanya Feature In ‘Movie Like’ Bout
In a fight that has been described as a passing of the torch moment in MMA, Anderson Silva faced off against Israel Adesanya tonight in the co-main event of UFC 234 to determine the number one contender for the UFC Middleweight Title.
Ever since Adesanya made his UFC debut last year, commentators have been quick to point out the similarities between his style and that of the former middleweight champion Silva. Both men entered the sport of MMA with a background in kickboxing, and both developed strong defensive wrestling skills that allow them to force their opponents to engage them in striking distance.
Adesanya has ridden a wave of momentum since knocking out Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221. The former kickboxing champion has remained highly active, fighting a further 3 times in 2018 and capping those off with an impressive first-round knockout victory over perennial contender Derrick Burnson in November.
The last style bender has certainly left an impression on the UFC brass with his exciting striking style. UFC president Dana White shared a video, also shared by Joe Rogan, showing Adesanya showing his technically crisp striking during his kickboxing days on Instagram.
Anderson Silva made his return to the cage tonight almost exactly two years since his last bout. Much like his opponent, Silva came into the fight on the back of a win over Derrick Brunson. However, unlike Adesanya, Silva scraped through a highly contentious decision before failing his post-fight drugs test. This marked the second time The Spider has failed a test since the UFC partnered with USADA in 2015.
In the weigh-ins prior to the fight, Silva became highly emotional and was seen crying in front of the Australian crowd. It is not known what made Silva so emotional during the staredown but it could quite easily be an example of Silva’s patented mind games. In the lead up to his fight with fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort, Silva famously wore a mask during their staredown, successfully antagonising Belfort.
Israel Adesanya defeats his idol, 43-year-old Anderson Silva, at #UFC234
"This is like, for kids in basketball, to play against Michael Jordan" pic.twitter.com/Y4dEckLfeQ
— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) February 10, 2019
— EJ (@rapoyhaha) February 10, 2019
Adesanya: Fuck, this is crazy. This is like for a kid, if I’m playing basketball like playing Michael Jordan. This is it for me. #UFC234
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) February 10, 2019
In a fight that featured everything, Silva and Adesanya both had their moments, but in the end, the younger and more youthful Adesanya was able to edge the decision.
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