Since The Last Stylebender’s last win over Derek Brunson earlier this month, we’ve all been wondering who’s next for him. Will it be Jacare? Will it be for the title after Whittaker (21-4) and Gastelum (16-3) 1 NC go at it? Will he be an alternate for that fight?
We’ve got our answer, it turns out he’ll fight the best Middleweight and arguably the best mixed martial artist of all time, Anderson “The Spider” Silva at UFC 234, the same event as Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum. So it looks like perhaps we’ll know the
Champion and Challenger at the end of UFC 234.
We’ll start off with Anderson, he came up through the ranks in PRIDE and a couple other promotions before we got to see him in the UFC; he got to win and lose there so by the time he got the UFC, he was virtually unstoppable. Sometimes people discredit him because the middleweight division when he was champ isn’t what it is now, and it wasn’t, but his performances in those fights were incredible, and he did still fight a lot of high-level guys.
He could’ve easily been the first concurrent two-weight world champ in the UFC, he went up to 205 and won all three fights by first-round knockouts, one over the former champ Forrest Griffin, who just lost his belt in the fight prior. One fight later is the reason he isn’t the first concurrent champ-champ. He was a very impressive specimen before joining the UFC, then his UFC career deemed him an unforgettable legend. He first dismantled the iron-chin Chris Leben, who was 15-1, 5-0 in the UFC, landing 18 of 20 total strikes and getting the KO 49 seconds into the fight.
He then fought the legend, then middleweight Champion Rich Franklin, who was 22-1, and his only loss was to Lyoto Machida. He ran through him, submitted highly respected BJJ black belt Travis Lutter, knocked out Nate Marquardt, rematched, and again knocked out Rich Franklin; then between jumping to 205 and defending his belt at 185, he picked up wins over Dan Henderson (22-6), unifying the UFC and PRIDE Middleweight Championships, Patrick Cote (14-4), KOing vicious Light-Heavyweight knockout artist James Irvin (14-1) in one minute, Thales Leites (14-1), Forrest Griffin (16-5), Demian Maia (12-1), Chael Sonnen x2 (26-10-1, 28-11-1), Vitor Belfort (19-8) on a five fight win streak, three fight KO streak, Yushin Okami (27-5), and a juiced up Stephan Bonnar (19-7), who’d only lost to current or former world champions, and never been finished other than his TKO loss via cut to Krysztof Soszynski. Since then, he was caught clowning Chris Weidman (9-0) when he was winning the fight, and just hasn’t been the same since. He’s gone 1-4 with one no contest, which was a win over Nick Diaz. He won a controversial decision against Derek Brunson (16-4), but also lost a controversial decision to Michael Bisping (28-7), and arguably won that fight via KO at 4:59 of round 3. In his run, he won the Shooto Welterweight Championship, he won the Cage Rage Middleweight Championship and defended it three times, then won the UFC belt in his second UFC fight and defended it 11 times. He has the most finishes in Middleweight history at 11, and the most finishes in UFC title fights at 9, most knockdowns in UFC history at 17, and most knockdowns in UFC title fights at 10, along with the most wins in UFC Middleweight history at 14. Israel Adasanya started out fighting in Kickboxing/Muay Thai, he went 32-0 as an amateur before turning professional. He had a stellar pro record of 75-5-1, and has the most King In The Ring titles at 3, he’s also 6-1 in pro boxing. In a little over a year of professional mma, he assumed a 2-0 record, before going 9-0 in the next two years; becoming the AFC Middleweight Champion, and Hex Fighting Series Middleweight Champion in back-to-back fights before making his UFC debut. He gets taken down a few times by Rob Wilkinson (11-1) but TKOs him in round two, then picks up decision wins over Marvin Vettori (12-3-1) and Brad Tavares (17-5), with both his striking and his wrestling defense looking better in each fight. His next fight with Brunson, he looked unstoppable. A 3x Division II All-American didn’t have the slightest hope of taking him down, he looked way too slow, and Israel made him look like an amateur, knocking him out in round one. He is 15-0 with 13 knockouts and 2 decisions, Anderson is 34-8-0-1 with 22 knockouts, 4 submissions, and 8 decisions. Israel has earned his BJJ blue belt recently, while Anderson is a 3rd degree black belt, along with a 5th degree black belt in Taekwondo, and a black belt in Muay Thai. I think it’s fair to say that Israel is absolutely a black belt level striker too though. Israel is two inches taller at 6′ 4”, and has a 2.5 inch reach advantage. He’s also obviously much younger, about 14 years younger in fact. I’m very excited for this match up and cannot wait for this!