Silva Wants UFC 237 Spot After Tonight’s Showdown With ‘Last Stylebender’
Anderson Silva will step inside of the Octagon for the first time in two years later tonight (Sat., Feb. 9, 2019) at UFC 234 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, when he squares off with rising middleweight contender Israel Adesanya in the co-main event.
Having not competed in such a long time, as well as winning one fight since a TKO victory over Stephan Bonnar back in 2012, Silva will have his work cut out for him against the man known as “Last Stylebender.” Even if the comparisons to Silva aren’t true, Adesanya is still a young, hungry, and extremely talented fighter who currently holds an undefeated professional MMA record of 15-0.
Despite the task at hand, as well as retirement talks looming in the distance, Silva is eager to get back into the Octagon even after his battle with Adesanya tonight at UFC 234.
“My focus now is for this fight,” Silva told reporters earlier this week at UFC 234’s pre-fight press conference (h/t MMAjunkie). “I think hopefully I win this fight – or not – but I think my plan is to fight in Curitiba. (It is) my city, my country, with my next opponent. That’s my goal.”
The promotion is currently planning UFC 237 in Curitiba, Brazil, this May. The PPV event will feature a women’s strawweight title fight between current champion Rose Namajunas and top contender Jessica Andrade, as well as a potential women’s bantamweight clash between champion Amanda Nunes and former titleholder Holly Holm. Adding Silva to that card would do wonders.
But what if Silva defies the odds and defeats Adesanya this weekend in Melbourne? Does that mean he’ll pass up a title shot against the winner of UFC 234’s Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum middleweight title fight —assuming the winner isn’t ready for a quick turnaround — in favor of a spot on UFC 237’s Brazil card?
While a 43-year-old fighter like Silva should be doing everything in his power to lock down his last UFC title shot, “The Spider” is no ordinary fighter. He has already done everything there is to do in MMA so the prospect of fighting one of his last bouts in front of his home crowd may very well outweigh the chance to hoist UFC gold one last time.
First things first, though, Silva must ward off a younger version of himself later tonight at UFC 234.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 234 fight card on Saturday, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.