Israel Adesanya is all set to fight Anderson Silva at UFC 234 on February 10, 2019, at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. This fight in true sense will mean passing the torch. Anderson Silva is a legend of the sport and many consider Israel Adesanya as the next big thing in the UFC.
During the past years, Anderson Silva always wanted to fight his ‘clone’ which he said in his famous win at UFC 134 against Yushin Okami back in 2011. However, UFC will deliver someone who has very identical fighting style to Silva in the form of Israel Adesanya.
“I’m a guy that started off modelling my style after his, because he’s a skinny black guy like me, and I look up to him,” Adesanya said Monday on The MMA Hour. “So, I was like, if you want to fight your clone, you can fight me. But I’m better than your clone because I’ve studied every single thing you’ve done, every (expletive) move you make. I know when he’s going to chill, I know when he’s going to attack, I know when he’s offensive, I know when he wants to blitz.
“I feel it. I know this man better than he knows himself, in a way. And I know some things about him that he doesn’t even know about himself because I’m on the outside looking in.”
Initially, Anderson Silva didn’t want to fight him, but he had a change of heart and said he wants to fight the ‘style bender’.
“I want to believe he went and thought about it, and thought about who he was and what his legacy is,” Adesanya said. “Because he’s the guy that always wanted to face the best. He’s at the twilight of his career now, and he gets paid a lot of money, so he might not want to face guys like me – people who can kill him, people who can make him look bad. He might want to just have an easy ride out. But I know he’s still the guy who always wanted to challenge himself.”
“It’s the perfect storybook ending for him, as well, because after this fight – I mean, he’s done what he’s done, so he can let me handle it. He’s been the greatest middleweight champion of all time; I’ll take it from here. I’ll take the torch by force if I have to.”
Regardless of how Israel feels about fighting Silva, he still thinks that Anderson is “the GOAT for a reason” and plans to campaign for the title shot at the middleweight division after beating him at Melbourne.