This Saturday, UFC 234 will feature the old guard vs. the new age when middleweight icon Anderson Silva gives Israel Adesanya his toughest and highest profile contest to date. Both athletes utilize a kickboxing style which has the makings for a potential chess match between the two specialists. However, another kickboxing specialist, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, does not believe the fight will be competitive at all (Transcription via MMA Fighting):
“You know what? To be honest with you, I don’t think it will be [competitive],” Thompson said of Silva vs. Adesanya on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour. “I mean, from watching Anderson Silva’s last few fights, he just wasn’t the same. I think whenever he broke his leg, when he fought (Chris) Weidman, it took a lot out of him. I think he was out for a very long time, and he just doesn’t, I don’t know — I don’t know if he doesn’t have that drive or that timing like he used to have. He just felt very slow and just didn’t have that timing like he used to.
“I think Israel’s going to go out there and school him. I mean, it would be cool — I think it would be very cool to see Anderson, him being the veteran, go out there and just finish him. That would definitely put a smile on my face, but I don’t see it happening.”
Stephen Thompson did not make a prediction whether not this “schooling” will involve a finish or not, but Anderson Silva has never been “outskilled” in the standup department before in his MMA career. His two KO/TKO defeats (both to Chris Weidman) came due to a leg injury and a case of showboating gone wrong. We have yet to see a striker school Anderson Silva in the Octagon before, but based on what Stephen Thompson has seen both up close and personal and in Silva’s recent history, he believes that knockout or not, a domination is coming the Spider’s way at UFC 234:
“I spent some time with Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida when they were training at Blackhouse in California,” Thompson said. “This was before I was in the UFC. I was looking for management and my brother-in-law Carlos Machado knew the guys over there at Blackhouse, so I spent a few weeks up there training with Anderson, which was a dream come true for me. Me coming from a karate and kickboxing background, Anderson Silva was like my idol, and so was Machida, especially with his karate background. And from sparring with him and seeing him then, and to see him his last few fights with (Michael) Bisping and I forgot who else it was, it’s just, there is a difference. There is a big difference.”
Do you agree with Stephen Thompson? Will Israel Adesanya dominate Anderson Silva at UFC 234?