At UFC 234, rising middleweight star Israel Adesanya will compete in the biggest fight of his career. He’ll share the Octagon with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva on pay-per-view (PPV). This comes off Adesanya’s brilliant performance at UFC 230 in November. The Nigerian finished Derek Brunson in the second round of their Octagon meeting in a masterful showing.
Now, he’ll put his undefeated mixed martial arts (MMA) record on the line against Silva. Interestingly enough, Silva’s last appearance inside the cage was also a victory over Brunson. However, Silva was unable to finish Brunson and instead defeated him on the judges’ scorecards via unanimous decision.
In a recent interview with the UFC, Adesanya previewed his match-up against the Brazilian legend. The Nigerian has done extensive film study on his opposition, and went as far as saying he believes he knows Silva better than he knows himself in some ways (via MMA Mania):
“I have watched all of his fights. I know him better than he knows himself in some ways because I am on the outside looking in. I’ve watched him on DVD’s for so long and thought to myself, ‘This guy is the man.’ When I watched UFC 90 against Patrick Cote, that is the one that made me take notice,” Adesanya said.
“He dismantled Patrick Cote. I keep saying he blew his knee out with telekinesis. That one made me look at fighting differently. That was when I barely started fighting and had this perception that you have to be Rambo, this jacked up dude to be able to fight.
“But I see this skinny black guy whooping everyone’s ass. So I said, ‘I’m a skinny black guy, I can whoop ass.’” So he helped plant the idea that I can be the best in the world. The guy is just the Picasso of our time. He is a genius.”
What do you think about the match-up between Adesanya and Silva?