Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman doubts current 185lb king Israel Adesanya will reach the same levels Anderson Silva did.
Silva went on a legendary run at middleweight before Weidman ended it in 2013. The Brazilian made 10 successful title defences in impressive fashion before running into the ‘All American’. Speaking to MMA Fighting Weidman seemed unconvinced Adesanya would ever be able to reach the levels of his former foe Silva, he said.
“Listen, he’s got a lot of work ahead of him for sure. Anderson Silva, he dominated everybody for years. He didn’t have wars like [Israel] has been having. He had a close fight with Anderson Silva, and this was years after I fought Anderson Silva. He had a very, very close barnburner fight with Kelvin Gastelum. The fight with Yoel Romero was obviously just terrible, but he’s exciting to watch.”
Despite doubting Adesanya will go on to replicate the achievements of ‘The Spider’ Weidman believes when it’s all said and done ‘The Last Stylebender’ will be considered a legend – at middleweight at least.
“He’s got a good mouthpiece on him. He’s a smart kid. He’s fun to listen to him talk. I don’t know if he’s going to be beating Anderson Silva’s record or anything like that, but I think he’ll be looked at as a guy who’s like a legend in the sport when it’s all said and done – at least in the middleweight division.”
Weidman is currently preparing for his drop back down to middleweight after an unsuccesfful 205lb debut. The 35-year-old fought Dominick Cruz in October 2019 and was quickly knocked out. It was his fifth loss in six fights, Weidman’s lone win coming against top contender Kelvin Gastelum in 2017. In the same interview, he expressed a wish to fight against Adesanya in the future but admitted he has work to do before that can happen. He is expected to face Jack Hermansson next. Earlier this week it was reported the UFC is trying to get the Swedish fighter a VISA to travel to the US and compete.