Since it was revealed that the UFC is working on finalizing a bout between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva, there’s been a lot of talk as to what’s on the line for the latter. Well, by the looks of it, a new challenge and a paycheck, aren’t the only reasons Silva’s on board with the bout.
Recently it was reported that Adesanya – Silva is being planned for UFC 234, which will go down on February 9th in Melbourne, Australia. The consensus has been that if Adesanya wins, he’ll very likely move onto a middleweight title fight, especially if the champ Robert Whittaker gets by Kelvin Gastelum that same night.
Well, more recently, Silva spoke with ESPN, and while doing so the former champ said this:
“This is a great challenge for me,” Silva said. “My entire life, since I started martial arts, I have taken the best challenge. Israel is a young guy and the future of the sport. Everybody is talking about Israel. I think this is the best fight in the sport.”
“Dana came to Los Angeles to talk to me,” Silva added. “I said to him, ‘Why am I going to take this fight?’ And Dana said, ‘You know, you win this fight, you go to the title belt.’ I said, ‘OK, now you are talking good business for me.'”
Now, if you’re surprised to hear this, you really shouldn’t be. Yes, Silva isn’t currently ranked in the top 15, but as we’ve seen on multiple occasions now, rankings often don’t matter when it comes to awarding title shots.
If Silva can defeat one of the fastest rising stars in the game, the UFC knows there’s going to be a ton of folks who want to see whether the soon to be 44-year-old can reclaim the belt. Which is why “Jacare” Souza could be taking a big gamble, by saying he’s going to wait out until he receives a title shot.