UFC 234 in Melbourne has taken on a new level of intrigue with the announcement of a middleweight showdown between one of the greatest fighters to ever live and the hottest prospect in the UFC today.
Speaking to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, UFC President Dana White said that former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC) will take on New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC). According to MMAjunkie, both fighters have agreed to the contest but bout agreements are yet to be signed.
Despite his best years most likely behind him, Anderson Silva had one of the best UFC runs the organization has ever seen. Between 2006 and 2012, Silva won sixteen consecutive fights which included ten defenses of his middleweight title and dominating victories at light-heavyweight. Silva inspired a generation of fighters with his elusive style and devastating accuracy, including a young Israel Adesanya.
“The first time I watched him live on pay-per-view was UFC 90 when he dismantled Patrick Cote with so many different styles and different moves,” Adesanya said at the post-fight press conference after his most recent win over Derek Brunson.
“That was amazing. If a skinny black guy can do this and have this run…I’m a skinny black guy. I can do this and have this run.”
Adesanya has been the break out star for the UFC in 2018 winning four straight fights while remaining undefeated in mixed martial arts at 15-0.
The bout between Silva and Adesanya is expected to be the co-main event of UFC 234 which takes place on February 10 (AEST). Robert Whittaker will be defending his middleweight title against Kelvin Gastelum in the main event.