When everyone thought Israel Adesanya talked himself into getting a shot at the middleweight title, here’s the ‘Last Stylebender’ himself saying he met UFC President Dana White in Sydney to exclusively propose a fight against Anderson Silva.
It only took the Kiwi mixed martial artist four fights to reach the sixth spot in the UFC’s middleweight rankings. After demolishing Derek Brunson at UFC 230, White says Adesanya’s chance at the gold is ‘very possible.’
However, talking to Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour, the native of Lagos said it was his dream to fight the man he looked up to in the sport, and it wasn’t Whittaker.
“Initially, when I went to Sydney to meet Dana, this was the exact plan I gave to him. I told him, ‘let’s get this [fight vs Silva] done in Melbourne as a co-main event.”
While Adesanya comes off a violent first-round stoppage win over Brunson, unranked Silva hasn’t danced in the Octagon since February 2017. Despite that, the Brazilian icon undoubtedly holds a legendary name in the sport.
Known to most, after seizing the win against Yushin Okami at UFC 134 in 2011, Silva said the only opponent he felt could challenge him inside the cage was his clone. This statement stuck at Adesanya’s mind while adoring how his idol divinely dominated the division.
Seven years into his now-fresh but topnotch UFC career, the Kiwi fighter is giving Silva the fight he has always wanted.
“I’m a guy that started off modelling my style after his because he’s a skinny black guy like me and I looked up to him. 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 and every f*cking move you made.”
“This means more to me than the f*cking world title. I’m getting choked up even right now even thinking about it. Like honestly, this f*cking means the world to me.”
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"Muito bem meu povo! Não percam suas energias com pensamentos negativos, muitas vezes nos concentramos em obstáculos e pedras no caminho e deixamos de nos concentrar em coisas boas que a vida nos proporciona. Independente das dificuldades do dia a dia, temos momentos fantásticos, não perca tempo se preocupando em pular os degraus da escada, suba um de cada vez sem pressa mas com passos firmes e sensatos, eu acredito que a vida seja exatamente assim, viva! Se permita tropeçar nos degraus da vida para quando subir os próximos, estar feliz com você mesmo. Beijo meu povo! Ótima sexta-feira, alegria, alegria, a malandragem da vida é viver." – @spiderandersonsilva ◆ spiderkick.com "Hello my people! Do not waste your energies with negative thoughts, we often focus on obstacles and stones along the way and stop focusing on the good things that life provides. Regardless of the difficulties day by day, we have fantastic moments, do not waste time bothering to jump on the steps of the stairs, go up one at a time without hurry but with steady and sensible steps, I believe that life is exactly like this, live! If you allow yourself to stumble on the steps of life for when you come up next, be happy with yourself. Kisses my people! Great Friday, joy, joy, the trick of life is to live." – @spiderandersonsilva ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“UFC 90 was the first time I watched this guy fight live. Before that, I was watching him on DVDs f*cking murking dudes. This is like LeBron James getting to face Michael Jordan.”
“So this means more to me than any f*cking shiny belt. Like, I can kill this guy and then I can be like ‘I’ve done what I came here to do. I’m done.’ But, I’m not done. After this, I’ll go on to do other things. Yeah, the belt comes with it. But I’ll carry on the legacy of the other avatars in this game.”
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Israel Adesanya and Instagram/Anderson Silva