This weekend’s UFC 234 presents an interesting ‘old school’ vs. ‘new school’ matchup between the greatest middleweight in the sport’s history, Anderson Silva, and then man hoping to usurp the Brazilian’s status as the most exciting 185-pound fighter in the sport — and if you are to ask UFC welterweight title contender Stephen Thompson, it won’t even be a close fight.
Adesanya, the New Zealander of Nigerian extraction, has parlayed a successful kickboxing career into an undefeated 15-0 record in mixed martial arts (4-0 UFC) and has looked to be a superb prospect in that time, particularly in his last fight — a first round finish of Derek Brunson at UFC 230 — and Thompson thinks that the 29-year-old will be a step of ahead of the 43-year-old Silva on Saturday night.
“You know what? To be honest with you, I don’t think it will be [competitive],” Thompson said when asked about the fight on The MMA Hour via MMA Fighting.
“I mean, from watching Anderson Silva’s last few fights, he just wasn’t the same. I think whenever he broke his leg, when he fought (Chris) Weidman, it took a lot out of him. I think he was out for a very long time, and he just doesn’t, I don’t know — I don’t know if he doesn’t have that drive or that timing like he used to have. He just felt very slow and just didn’t have that timing like he used to.”
The Brazilian’s recent career has been stop-start due to injury and drug suspension, with his last fight being a decision win against Brunson nearly two years ago at UFC 208. A win over the surging Adesanya would appear to resurrect the faint title hopes he has been speaking of lately in interviews though Thompson doesn’t think that is likely.
“I think Israel’s going to go out there and school him. I mean, it would be cool — I think it would be very cool to see Anderson, him being the veteran, go out there and just finish him. That would definitely put a smile on my face, but I don’t see it happening.”