Israel Adesanya wants to take his hero out of the UFC

«When we had a meeting and we spoke face to face I let him know, this ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve been doing this for a long time as well.

«I quit my job on September 4th, 2013, and on September 5th I was on a plane to China. I was there for about nine or 10 months, and in that time I just racked up fights. In one month I fought four times, and there were two knockouts that month.

Israel Adesanya is hunting for the title.

Israel Adesanya is hunting for the title.Credit:AAP

«I’ve been used to fighting in front of big crowds. I’m used to people staring at me, look at me as a big black guy in the mainland of China. People looked at me like ‘ooh basketball, Kobe Bryant’. They’d want to take photos.

«That got me ready for all of this, being stared at, having cameras in your face, being a superstar in a way. That built me up.»


Adesanya believes he will bring back the Silva of old. The former middleweight champion might be 42 years old but this bout is a matchmaker’s dream. Silva’s search for greatness is relentless, unbridled by age or doubt.

What stands before him is a man of the firm belief this is his destiny — this fight, this triumph, this path to his own legacy.

But facing him on the other side of the octagon will be a man determined to restore his own legacy to its once seemingly insurmountable heights.

Silva once held court in the middleweight division for 2547 days before he dropped the belt and a failed drug test tarnished his reputation.

But now with the chance to regain his place at the top, by which time he would be 44 years old, Silva has rarely been more grateful for a second chance.

«When I talk to my kids and my wife and all my family, it’s all the same — ‘why? Don’t do that!’,» Silva said.

Legend: Anderson Silva will face Adesanya in Melbourne.

Legend: Anderson Silva will face Adesanya in Melbourne.Credit:AAP

«I say ‘okay, let me tell you something. This is my life, this is me.’ When I stop, I never come back. At this point, my family just say ‘do it, do the best you can’. It’s not easy. They respect my dreams.»

If Silva hangs them up, Adesanya’s dream is not to be his second coming. It is to be the first and The Last Stylebender.

Caden Helmers is a sports reporter for The Canberra Times




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