Moments ago, UFC President Dana White guaranteed Israel Adesanya a title shot if he can beat Anderson Silva at UFC 234 from Melbourne.
The admission made the high stakes bout even higher. We already knew Silva will get a title shot if he is able to hand the heavily favored ‘Last Stylebender’ his first UFC defeat. It wasn’t all too hard to surmise that Adesanya would also get one, but White made it official at the UFC 234 press conference.
True to his blunt, confident, and brutally honest personality, Adesanya took it in stride. He said he had been talking to White about it for some time. Now that it was out in the open, however, he was going to be champion in 2019:
“Uh, like I said when we had the meeting, he had other ideas. After 230 he said, you know I texted him like, ‘I wanna fight this guy.’ He was like, “pump the brakes, oh, pump the brakes the kid. Yeah. When we had a meeting, we talked face to face.
“I let him know this ain’t my first rodeo, I’ve been doing this for a long time as well. So yeah, the cat’s out the bag. I’m about to be champion, 2019.”
Adesanya was then asked if he preferred to fight fellow Australian favorite Robert Whittaker, who defends his title against Kelvin
“Yes. Of course. We’re looking at Sydney, maybe Brisbane, somewhere,” Adesanya said, drawing a long glare from Silva. “First off, first off, what stadium do you have? Rod Laver? Etihad. Here? We can do it. Talk to this guy (gesturing at White), talk to the boss.”
But when the crowd began to react with boos at the seeming disrespect to the legendary Silva, ‘The Last Stylebender’ backtracked a bit. Adesanya believed the betting odds for his fight with Silva were quite erratic.
“First, first, first, 2-3-4, this weekend, Sunday, we both have big tests ahead of us. Everyone, I
Finally, Adesanya looked back at Silva bringing him into the MMA game. He was a revolutionary force and one of the fighters with the most part in bringing the UFC to the position it enjoys now. He may be nostalgic for that, yet ultimately Adesanya said he would be honored to usher ‘The Spider’ away from fighting:
“So, he brought me into this game, you know? This guy inspired me to be able to believe a skinny black guy could just come in here and f*** anyone up. So, he brought me into this game, and it’ll be an honor to take him out of this game.”