Adesanya is set to face former champion Robert Whittaker in a rematch at UFC 271. Since he first earned the title over Whittaker, he’s defended his belt against Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero, and Marvin Vettori in dominant performances.
Some believe that Adesanya is potentially on the way to becoming the greatest middleweight champion in UFC history, but Cormier tells fans to pump the brakes on that assumption.
“No. Dude, Anderson Silva existed. Anderson Silva existed. Like, I don’t get this recency bias that fans have,” Cormier said during a recent episode of DC&RC. “Honestly RC, I think the word ‘GOAT’ gets thrown around way too easy in fight sports. The only person that doesn’t get passed is Muhammad Ali and there have been some really impressive fighters, but people recognize what Muhammad Ali was. Anderson Silva was to MMA what Muhammad Ali was to boxing. No, [Israel Adesanya] has some work to do to catch Anderson.” (h/t SportsKeeda)
Silva is arguably the greatest UFC fighter of all time, regardless of weight class. His run as the middleweight champion was a spectacle that has arguably yet to be replicated.
Adesanya defeated Silva at UFC 234 when Silva was arguably years past his prime. Following his losses to Chris Weidman, Silva was never quite able to repeat the magic that he created as the middleweight king.
Adesanya’s lone blemish on his UFC record came against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 for the light heavyweight belt. While he had his fair share of moments on the feet, Blachowicz used his grappling and size to smother Adesanya in the later rounds.
Adesanya certainly has the potential to be an all-time great, but Cormier thinks he has some work to do to warrant that distinction.
Do you agree with Daniel Cormier regarding Israel Adesanya?