On rare occasions, the stars align between up-and-coming fighters and the ranking system to create a perfect matchup. One that the MMA community is beyond pumped for is coming in February. Toward the end of 2018, it was reported that the Last Stylebender, Israel Adesanya verbally agreed to be placed across the octagon against former UFC middleweight champion, Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Adesanya has been rising through the UFC ranks since early this year with notable wins over Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, and former UFC contender Melvin Guillard. He is a kickboxing-based fighter whose experience gives him an enormous edge in the cage and has a nickname that’s starting to stick in the hearts of MMA fans. For anybody who’s watched him fight or seen his YouTube highlight reel that will make you gawk like fans at the All-Star Dunk Contest, it’s difficult to watch the Last Stylebender and not be reminded of how well Anderson Silva dismantled opponents with his striking. Some would even consider Adesanya to be a clone of Silva.
A post shared by Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) on Dec 4, 2018 at 3:08pm PST
Before competing in the UFC, Israel Adesanya maintained a 75-5-1 record as a professional kickboxer and a 5-1 record as a professional boxer. Both records still stand to this day with his most recent losses in kickboxing against Jason Wilnis and Alex Pereira. For the entirety of his fighting career, Adesanya has trained with City Kickboxing in Auckland, New Zealand and is ranked as a blue belt under Andre Galvao. As mentioned before, his striking experience makes him a high-level of danger in the cage that is confirmed by his extensive highlights on the internet.
These skills have proven to serve Adesanya well in the cage with a professional MMA record of 15-0. When presented with the opportunity to have a fight with Anderson Silva, he accepted with the enthusiasm of a massive basketball fan being able to play one-on-one with their favorite player. The only difference being that Silva can pose a threat to Adesanya’s perfect record and possible title contention.
A post shared by Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) on Dec 12, 2018 at 2:49am PST
In all honesty, it would be crazy to think that Adesanya didn’t model his fighting style after Silva and he definitely has not kept his admiration for Silva a secret. For people who still revere Silva as one of the greatest of all time, this fight would be a torch-passing of sorts in the middleweight division. In other words, an Israel Adesanya win over Anderson Silva would be an honorable death in the eyes of those who believe in a kind of MMA bushido.
With all of the anxiety for the upcoming bout, perhaps there’s a possibility that a few people have just begun to consider…….what if Silva wins?
What would be the results for that alternate timeline? Would Silva do as many OG Brazilian legends like Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Jorge “Macaco” Patino and continue to compete?
Fala meu povo! Acho que vale refletir sobre este texto… Na vida existe inúmeros obstáculos, dificuldades etc, mas para mudar qualquer situação indesejada, devemos nos superar, batalhar muito para alcançar certos objetivos e melhoras, não é… e nunca vai ser tarefa fácil, mas temos a opção de seguir enfrente batalhando correndo atrás do que sonhamos. Não podemos nos deixar consumir pelo medo de tentar sem correr atrás, se tornando estatística ou deixando tudo o medo de lado e correndo atrás firme e forte mesmo com todas as dificuldades deixando de lado o vitimismo e aceitando que pra chegar lá e mudar tudo a sua volta e preciso coragem para enfrentar os obstáculos que a vida nos trás todos os dias. Mas se você quer realmente fazer a diferença e se tornar um fato! Não deixe de batalhar, se esforçar e correr atrás dos seus sonhos. Não to falando que vai ser fácil! Mas posso afirmar que se você não começar agora a mudar para melhorar, se não buscar o que deseja para sua vida agora! Vai aver um momento em que vai perceber que poderia ter feito algo melhor na sua vida e não fez pelo simples fato de não tentar, de não se preparar para as oportunidades da vida! Temos extrema capacidades de criar, de aprender e ser melhor. @spiderkick @marcosdunker @silva_mtc
A post shared by Anderson "The Spider" Silva (@spiderandersonsilva) on Dec 29, 2018 at 1:26pm PST
It’s not something that is far out of the realm of possible realities. He certainly has the experience and skills to overcome well-trained Adesanya as he has done to many in the past. However, many fans and critics understandably have Adesanya as the favorite for this fight. He is the younger, hungrier fighter with a style that is difficult to combat and a killer instinct.
However, Anderson Silva’s reputation as the former 185- pound king still grants an exalted image from longtime fans of the UFC. He has highlight wins over Vítor Belfort, Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson, and Chael Sonnen while also being the UFC’s former record holder of the most title defenses. What impressed fan the most about him was how he would dominate opponents through his technical skill. Silva’s striking prowess is Muay Thai heavy (currently ranked as a black prajied) and tends to use a lot of moves that some would argue has a Taekwondo flair; making some of his combinations dynamic and unorthodox. The former middleweight champion hails from multiple gyms throughout his career such as Chute Boxe, Muay Thai Dream Team and Black House. He also has a black belt under Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Brazilian Jiujitsu and practices other striking arts like boxing. Silva has even participated in pro boxing matches which have helped polish his boxing as well as sparring at Wild Card Gym where Manny Pacquiao trains.
Fala. Meu povo vejam que interessante a jornada de nossos antepassados, para enfim, recebermos a dádiva da vida: *Pais: 2* *Avós: 4* *Bisavós: 8* *Trisavós: 16* *Tetravós: 32* *Pentavós: 64* *Hexavós: 128* *Heptavós: 256* *Octavós: 512* *Eneavós: 1024* *Decavós: 2048* Total de 11 gerações: Foram 4.094 ancestrais para que você esteja aqui hoje… Cerca de 300 anos antes de você nascer! Pense um instante: Quantas lutas, quantas guerras, quanta fome, quantas dificuldades todos estes antepassados viveram? Por outro lado, quanta força, quanto amor, quantas alegrias e estímulos, quanto instinto de sobrevivência cada um deles teve dentro de si para que hoje você esteja aqui vivo? Nós só existimos graças a tudo o que cada um deles passou. Valorize a sua vida! Curve-se! Reverencie seus antepassados! Gratidão a todos os ancestrais, sem eles não teríamos a felicidade de conhecer o que é a "Vida"!!! Feliz ano novo pra todos 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾😘😘😘 @spiderkick @silva_mtc
A post shared by Anderson "The Spider" Silva (@spiderandersonsilva) on Dec 31, 2018 at 12:39pm PST
In fact, part of what makes this match exciting is the high levels of striking both men bring to the table. Adesanya and Silva both have the ability to utilize strategy and techniques in the stand-up game that aren’t used by other fighters due to lack of experience or approaches in training. Kicks from the front leg, tactful boxing combinations, the occasional spinning heel kick and the understanding the combine all of these is possible from both fighters. These kinds of high-level strikers tend to be well adept to studying opponents from outside the cage and reading them while in the cage. Silva has even made himself famous by reading opponents and being confident enough to stand in front of them with his hands down. Adesanya may have an advantage when it comes to studying and preparation for the cage since Silva has more MMA footage to study.
What is certain is that this fight will attract old fans and new fans that remember the nostalgia that came with watching an Anderson Silva fight. Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva’s bout is slated to co-headline UFC 234 on February 9th of this year in Melbourne, Australia. With the styles and the stakes, this fight is guaranteed to win the hearts of fans.
Watch Anderson Silva vs. Israel Adesanya this Saturday, February 9th on PPV.