12 Feb - 
Anderson Silva hopes Israel Adesanya wins title after UFC 234

MELBOURNE, Australia – Anderson Silva is rooting for Israel Adesanya to become UFC middleweight champion after losing to the unbeaten rising star at UFC 234.

Silva (34-9 MMA, 17-5 UFC) returned to the octagon from a two-year layoff on Saturday and dropped a fairly competitive unanimous decision to Adesanya (16-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in the 185-pound bout headliner, which took place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

Although he was as high as a 6-1 betting underdog leading into the fight, “The Spider” did not back down from Adesanya. Many described it as a passing of the torch moment inside the octagon, and it appears Silva felt that way as well upon revealing his post-fight advice to his opponent.

“Israel is very fast, he’s young and he has a great future inside the UFC,” Silva told reporters, including MMAjunkie, post-fight at UFC 234. “I talk to Israel about some things, ‘Please, keep straight and don’t lose your focus, because you have amazing talent. Just keep doing.’ Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But I’m very impressed because it was two generations inside the cage. It was a great show for everyone. I’m so happy.”

Prior to the unforeseen main event scratch between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234, the Silva vs. Adesanya matchup was deemed a title eliminator at 185 pounds. The future of the weight class is uncertain with the champion Whittaker recovering from a serious surgery, but Adesanya is certainly among the top contenders.

Silva said he hopes to see Adesanya get the opportunity to compete for UFC gold. And if he does, makes good on it.

“I’m very impressed because Israel gave me a good challenge inside the cage,” Silva said. “For a long time I don’t feel the same challenge in my life. I’m very impressed. I respect Israel. He’s a great guy and has a future in this sport and hopefully he comes to fight for the belt and win.”

For complete coverage of UFC 234, check out the UFC Events section of the site.