Silva, the long-time former UFC middleweight champion and pound-for-pound great, stepped inside the Octagon one last time at UFC Vegas 12 last weekend. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a storybook ending for The Spider, who wound up losing via fourth-round TKO to surging middleweight contender Uriah Hall.
In attendance that night at the UFC Apex was Adesanya, who had shared the Octagon with Silva before, and has openly expressed his admiration for Brazilian legend.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani, Adesanya shared that he opted to give Silva some space after the fight, instead of walking up and saying something.
“I didn’t talk to him afterwards, I could see people kind of set up UFC cameras, or some people with their phones to catch me and him interacting afterwards, but I gave him space. That’s some #clouttrout, you know what I mean?” Adesanya stated. “After he just finished a fight and he’s walking out with his sons, and I walk up to say something to him? I don’t know, that would just feel disingenuous. That’s like if I’m with my family having dinner and someone walked up like ‘Bro, can I have a photo?’ I’m like ‘Bro, I’m with my family,’”
Adesanya continued by saying that he was content to just watch the moment unfold from afar.
“So yeah, I would have felt weird going over there and saying something, like what do I have to say to him? I don’t have anything to say to him, I’m just a fan. And that’s how I treat people that I admire. I don’t walk up to them in the middle of their moments, I just enjoy them and I’ll birdwatch - or I’ll spider-watch them.”
‘The Last Stylebender’ did mention a particular moment that did get him emotional, referring to Silva taking presumably one last bow in the middle of the Octagon.
“I was just like in awe when he bowed in the middle of the cage. I knew the feeling, because I just did it in my last fight, after the fight was over and everything, people cleaning up, I finished the ESPN interview and then I copped out and said ‘Hold up, just give me a second.’ I just went to the cage and just kind of like soaked it in.”
“But I’ll be back, he’s not. That was his last moment, so I could imagine. I got me a little bit teary-eyed, but I just swallowed it back down and embraced it, and I just spider-watched. I was just privileged, honored to witness,” Adesanya said.
Israel Adesanya following in Anderson Silva’s dominant footsteps
With each spectacular victory, reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is looking like the most dominant 185-pounder in the UFC since the legendary Anderson Silva.
Adesanya took hold of the middleweight crown by dethroning a great champion in Robert Whittaker, just like what Silva did to Rich Franklin back in 2006. Adesanya is also taking down the best challengers in the division, much like what ‘The Spider’ did back in his run as the middleweight king.
Now, Adesanya is also heading up to the 205-pound division for a new challenge, like what Silva did multiple times before. The only difference is that Adesanya will be challenging for the UFC light heavyweight championship.
While ‘The Last Stylebender’ is seemingly following in the footsteps of Silva, a championship win at the light heavyweight division will definitely open up a different path to greatness for Adesanya.Published 05 Nov 2020, 02:01 IST