Israel Adesanya is scheduled to take on his hero Anderson Silva at UFC 234 in Melborne, Australia, and this is a fight that has been in the making long before Adesanya stepped foot in the Octagon. (Transcript via MMA Junkie):
“I’m a guy that started off modeling my style after his, because he’s a skinny black guy like me, and I look up to him,” Adesanya said Monday on The MMA Hour. “So, I was like, if you want to fight your clone, you can fight me. But I’m better than your clone, because I’ve studied every single thing you’ve done, every (expletive) move you make. I know when he’s going to chill, I know when he’s going to attack, I know when he’s offensive, I know when he wants to blitz.
“I feel it. I know this man better than he knows himself, in a way. And I know some things about him that he doesn’t even know about himself, because I’m on the outside looking in.”
This dream fight for Israel Adesanya went through its share of hurdles en route to becoming a reality, with different plans being explored along the way to finalizing the bout:
“Initially, Anderson said no,” Adesanya said. “I was kind of like, ‘(expletive), oh well.’ I mean, it’s kind of good that I don’t have to kill my hero.
“I want to believe he went and thought about it, and thought about who he was and what his legacy is,” Adesanya said. “Because he’s the guy that always wanted to face the best. He’s at the twilight of his career now, and he gets paid a lot of money, so he might not want to face guys like me – people who can kill him, people who can make him look bad. He might want to just have an easy ride out. But I know he’s still the guy who always wanted to challenge himself.”
With the bout now agreed to and set for next year, Israel Adesanya can’t help but marvel at how perfectly the stars have aligned for him in facing such an influential person at the right stage of his career
“When my movie comes out, when the movie of my life comes out, this is going to be a (expletive) pivotal moment,” Adesanya said. “This is going to be that moment in that – you can’t write this (expletive). Seriously. I get to (expletive) beat the guy that actually put me on in the game, unknowingly. It’s the perfect story.
It’s the perfect storybook ending for him, as well, because after this fight – I mean, he’s done what he’s done, so he can let me handle it. He’s been the greatest middleweight champion of all time; I’ll take it from here. I’ll take the torch by force, if I have to.
“I know I’m going to beat him. I know I have to beat him. I know how I’m going to beat him. But I’m not overestimating him, and I’m not underestimating him. I just have to go in there and do my job. Just because I’m a fan, doesn’t mean he can’t catch these hands.
“This means more to me than any (expletive) shiny belt. I can kill this guy, and I’d be like, ‘Yo, I’ve done the work I came here to do. I’m done.’ But I’m not done.”
What do you think of Anderson Silva as an opponent for Israel Adesanya at this stage of his career?