Two years later, “The Spider” will finally enter the Octagon again.
Anderson Silva has been through a lot since his last UFC fight, a decision win over Derek Brunson in February 2016. In the co-main event of UFC 234, scheduled Saturday night in Melbourne, the former middleweight champion meets rising sensation Israel Adesanya for a possible shot at the belt he held for years.
Silva and Adesanya squared off following the official weigh-in in front of thousands of fans on Friday, and Silva couldn’t hold back the tears when asked for his thoughts on his fight with Adesanya.
“Thank you, guys, thank you,” Silva said. “I work my entire life for this sport and I try to do my best, and I need to say thank you God for giving one more time the opportunity to give great show for you guys. Thank you so much Australia, thank you Dana, thank you. Thank you, guys.”
”He’s trying to make me cry. F**k him,” Adesanya with a laugh said later, also appearing to be fight back the tears. “He’s trying to make me cry for real.”
Silva’s longtime conditioning coach Rogerio Camoes was standing next to Silva at the stage, and tells MMA Fighting why his friend was so emotional a day before his 44th professional fight.
”That was the emotion of coming back,” Camoes told MMA Fighting. “This is what this guy loves to do. He does it because he loves it. It’s even hard for him to say what he felt at that moment. It was surreal for me too, I had to fight back (the tears) because of the energy of being there next to him and see his emotions, see Israel getting emotional too, and Dana (White) amazed.
”That’s Anderson Silva. He’s the champion and will always be.”
Speaking with ESPN after the weigh-ins, Adesanya admitted that watching Silva cry got him emotional as well.