The reigning two-time UFC 185-pound champion seeks his sixth overall title defense against Sean Strickland at UFC 293 on Saturday in Sydney, Australia. A win would only inch the New Zealander closer to knocking off Silva as the division’s all-time best, despite holding a unanimous decision win over the legend. For some, “The Last Stylebender” has already done enough to claim that illustrious label.
Adesanya and Silva’s fellow former UFC champion Michael Bisping isn’t quite there yet when it comes to the current champ, however. “The Count” also managed to get a win over “The Spider” before all was said and done inside the octagon. Silva’s 16-fight undefeated streak and 10 total title defenses accompanied by many unforgettable performances are just too much to overlook for Bisping.
“Listen we could sit here all day and we pontificate and come out with theories and who’s the best and why and all the rest of it,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “Right now, Anderson Silva is ahead on all the numbers — knockouts, wins, defenses, length of time, all the rest of it.
“It all points toward Anderson Silva, and I think he’s got the better style so far. ‘The Last Stylebender’ is incredible to watch, but the way that Anderson Silva would dispose of his opponents was legendary back in the day.”
Silva’s historic reign ended in upset fashion against a then-rising undefeated challenger Chris Weidman in 2013 and was followed by a devastating leg break to hand him back-to-back losses. The Brazilian went on to close out his UFC run 1-7 (1 NC) in his final nine appearances — including the ones to Adesanya and Bisping — before being released from the promotion.
While the debate won’t be truly settled until Adesanya’s MMA career concludes, what’s undeniable is that both are two of the best strikers the sport has ever seen.
“They’re two great fighters from two different eras,” Bisping said. “They did get to fight one another and of course Israel won but as I said before, you can’t really look at that fight too much. You can’t really give it too much weight, and I know that sounds like an insult to Israel Adesanya.
“That’s not what I’m doing. They’re both incredible. I’m a fan of them both. Right now, the greatest middleweight of all time without question is Anderson Silva, but Israel Adesanya is still only 34 years old. The man is still in his prime, and he’s fighting every few months.”
Challenge. Sean Strickland head coach: Israel Adesanya a ‘f****** horrible matchup,’ need to ‘make it ugly’
Caution. UFC partners with Prohibet to monitor prohibited betting activity
Between the Links.
UFC 293 weigh-ins.
UFC 293 pre-fight press conference staredowns.
UFC 293 Cold open.
Tuivasa vs. Volkov preview.
Bellator USA highlights.
Impa Kasanganay’s journey.
Rapid Rounds: Geltmacher vs. Kenneson.
Adesanya’s title win.
Adesanya All Access 2.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck reacts to wild UFC 293 press conference.
I’m the guy that make you sit down.
— マネル・ケイプ Manel Kape (@ManelKape) September 7, 2023
The good old buggy.
Strickland is such a stupid boy he might actually pull it of. #UFC293
— Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) September 7, 2023
The GSP seal of approval.
Anyone’s free to insult my wrestling ability but this cockamamie idea that you’re better at Street Fighter than me?! That makes it personal. For charity, I’ll do it – Heck, I can even put you in touch with @AustinCreedWins . You guys can bond over being losers, etc. https://t.co/meWcHtrb5H
— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) September 8, 2023
This, for me, just comes down to if you care about PEDs because if you don’t, Silva’s status is simply untouchable. Watching him in his prime was unlike anything we’ll ever see again … and I say that as someone who was a big hater during the heights of my fandom before getting into the media game. Now that’s growth, folks!
Happy Friday, everyone. Hope you’ve had a good week and that the weekend is even better. Thanks for reading!
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Who is the middleweight GOAT?
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