What a fight! Undefeated Nigerian-New Zealander Israel ”The Last Stylebender” Adesanya, 29, who got into mixed martial arts because he idolized Anderson “The Spider” Silva, 43, will be a future UFC middleweight champion.
I’m a longtime fan of The Spider, and I was so afraid to watch this fight, which became the main event in UFC 234. I knew it was likely to be painful, and that everyone expected Adesanya to destroy his idol, who came into this fight as the huge underdog. But I still watched and rooted for Anderson.
What can I say? The Spider truly is one of the greatest of all time.
While a lot older and a lot slower, Silva still managed to bullet time, dodge Adesanya’s deadly kicks, and even showboat by keeping his guard down. As the announcers said, it was like a mirror match between two deadly and flamboyant strikers.
And what a show of respect between the two when the fight ended and they embraced.
Silva: You the man.
Adesanya: You’ve been doing this for a long time. UFC 90. I still remember the DVDs, bro. I’ve been watching you for a long time.
The torch has been passed. The Spider will always be my favorite, but I’m looking forward to seeing Adesanya as the future king of the UFC middleweight division that Anderson ruled for years.
Adesanya beat his idol, and took an important step in his own journey to becoming a legend.
As Adesanya said in his post-fight interview: “This is crazy. This is like, for a kid just to play, you know if I’m playing basketball, to play against Michael Jordan. This is it for me.”