Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva will return to actions next year as he is slated to take on Kiwi fighter Israel Adesanya at UFC 234 in Australia on February 2019.
‘The Spider’ is aware that ‘The Last Stylebender’ is no ordinary opponent as he easily turned himself from a prospect to a title contender by winning all his four fights since his debut early this year. For Silva, there is no other better way to prepare for this massive clash than training with the only man who finished the 29-year old mixed martial artist.
— TheMacLife (@Maclifeofficial) December 18, 2018
Silva Currently Works With Alex Pereira
The Nevada-based promotion announced last month that a middleweight fight between Silva, who is now 43, and one of UFC’s fastest rising star, Israel Adesanya has been booked for the UFC’s pay-per-view event on February 2019. The native of Sao Paolo, Brazil last fought in the Octagon in February 2017, where he came out with a unanimous decision win over Derek Brunson.
Interestingly, Adesanya’s last victim was also the sixth-ranked middleweight Brunson but unlike Silva’s encounter, the fight did not go the distance as the Kiwi fighter finished him quick in just the first round.
While both fighters are known for their great striking, Silva, who is now past his prime, knew that beating Adesanya would be a tall order. The Kiwi fighter may be a force of nature but Silva believes that he can be stopped and there is no other perfect way to learn Adesanya’s kryptonite than training with the person who handed Israel his first knockout loss.
According to a report from Marc Raimondi, the 43-year old fighter has tapped the service of Glory kickboxing champion Alex Pereira, who is known as the only man to have knocked out ‘The Last Stylebender.’
Anderson Silva is training with Alex Pereira, who owns wins over Israel Adesanya in kickboxing, during this camp.
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) December 17, 2018
“It Wasn’t Luck”
Pereira and Adesanya met twice in the Glory of Heroes. In these two kickboxing bouts, it was the Brazilian who emerged on top. Pereira scored a unanimous decision win in May 2016 in China before eking out a knockout victory in their rematch last year in Brazil.
In an interview with MMA Fighting last month, “Poatan” recalled how their last meeting went down and stressed that the knockout wasn’t pure luck.
“Adesanya kept saying he didn’t lose the first fight, he didn’t accept the loss. The rematch, the first round was back and forth. The second round, he connected a good hand that rocked me. I was getting beat for two minutes, but my body was resting. Not that I wanted to, he was imposing his will, but my body was resting and he was getting tired. He put a lot of pressure but couldn’t drop me.”
“We went to the third round and he was tired. He was winning the fight, but I told my corners I was going to knock him out. It wasn’t luck, I knew I would knock him out. I moved straight forward and used the straight right and left cross, good weapons I have. It wasn’t luck. It landed on his chin and he couldn’t take it. He had a few rough days after that.”
Relive Pereira’s knockout of ‘The Last Stylebender’ in the video below:
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya)