The betting lines had Anderson Silva as a sizeable underdog heading into UFC 234. But after the legendary fighter hung in there for three rounds with Israel Adesanya, Dana White took a jab at the oddsmakers.
Silva faced the rising, striking phenom in the headliner of Saturday’s event, and he proceeded to lose the contest via unanimous decision (with scores of 30-27, 30-27, 29-28). Although Silva never appeared to have Adesanya in any considerable danger, the fight certainly wasn’t a blowout, which was a far departure from what many observers predicted.
Well, after the memorable fight, White had this to say about the contest and Silva’s performance (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“It was fun,” White said. “That first round was like a kung fu movie. It was a fun fight to watch, very fun. Two guys who are incredibly talented. I was saying yesterday, any oddsmakers that make Anderson Silva 7-to-1 is out of their mind. The guy’s always taking care of himself, he’s a great martial artist, and that was a fun fight.
“But Israel went in with a sold-out house tonight, a lot of pressure on him to go in against the guy — you know, Anderson’s  years old, he’s supposed to go in and beat Anderson, but those are the kind of positions you’re in that you’ve got a lot of pressure on you. Anderson even said, ‘All the pressure’s on him. There’s none on me.’”
Depending on where you look, some of the closing odds for Silva had him sitting at +300, +325, but you can see White’s point here. The fight wasn’t nearly as lopsided as many pundits, fans and some fighters thought it would be. According to Fight Metric, Adesanya outstruck Silva by a 65 to 34 margin. Adesanya connected with 49% of his significant strikes and Silva landed with 43% of his.
So, although Silva didn’t pull off the upset and score an official win, it was ultimately a victory for the legend. Now it will be interesting to see what comes next for the Brazilian star. After UFC 234 Silva mentioned a rematch with Nick Diaz as a possibility, and he also floated the idea of fighting Conor McGregor again.
As it stands right now, the Diaz rematch seems more plausible, although, getting the Stockton star signed up for a fight hasn’t been easy in recent years. Case in point, Diaz hasn’t fought since he faced Silva back in January, 2015. Silva has had four fights during that time.