UFC 234: Anderson Silva Weighs-In on Whether Israel Adesanya is Latest Version of The “Spider”

Recently there’s been discussion as to whether Israel Adesanya is in a new version of Anderson Silva, but the legendary fighter is dismissing those comparisons.

Silva has been booked to fight the rising star on February 9th at UFC 234, which will take place in Melbourne, Australia. Due to the highlight reel striking game of Adesanya, and because “The Last Stylebender” has said he idolized Silva, there’s been talk about whether he’s a new version of the “Spider”. In addition, Adesanya has said his upcoming bout with Silva is like Lebron James playing against Michael Jordan.

Well, recently Silva was asked to comment on the ‘new version’ angle, and the former middleweight champ said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“Israel is a great fighter,” Silva said. “I think he’s super talented, he’s young, he has a brilliant future ahead in this sport. I believe he might be a version of him and he’ll become a better version of himself.

“I believe Israel is not my new version. But I think this fight is very interesting, because I believe this is the first time I have the opponent (with) the same style. That’s a good test for my martial arts skills.”

“I think everybody is going to see the old Anderson, but more experienced,” Silva added, while discussing the upcoming bout. “I don’t have nothing to prove. I passed through different moments in the sport. I win, I lose. I have a lot of experience. I am just doing something for my fans. I am so happy to be back to fighting and I’m here. Every day I come to training and say, ‘Thank you God. Thank you for giving me one more opportunity to do something special.’”

Now, it’s not surprising that some people have compared Adesanya to Silva. After all, they’re both ridiculously dangerous strikers who don’t shy away from unorthodox, jaw-dropping techniques. Further, both men are capable of doing some showboating to buzz fans and throw off opponents. Then, as noted above, the fact Adesanya’s a long time admirer of Silva fosters comparisons.

But, there’s also some notable differences. One, Adesanya competed in pro-kickboxing extensively before he moved into MMA, and it’s not like his striking approach is a mirror image of Silva (the latter primarily fights southpaw and Adesanya frequently switches stance). Silva holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu while Adesanya reportedly holds a blue belt. Also, let’s face it, Adesanya is also much more outgoing and confrontational on the mic than the legend. So, these could be some of the reasons Silva disagrees with the comparison.

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