Three years ago, the MMA world was concerned about a 48-year-old Chuck Liddell fighting after being knocked out by Tito Ortiz. Many of those concerns were also placed on then-43-year-old Anderson Silva in 2018 when he was scheduled to face a rising Israel Adesanya. However, Adesanya believed these concerns were misplaced for a reason as simple as it sounds:
Anderson Silva is not Chuck Liddell.
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[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 30, 2018, 8:01 AM]
Headline: Israel Adesanya: Anderson Silva Is Not Chuck Liddell
Perhaps announcing the return of 43-year-old Anderson Silva to go against a young, lethal rising contender could have been timed better, with the MMA world still reeling from the knockout of 48-year-old Chuck Liddell last weekend at the hands of rival Tito Ortiz.
To be sure, Liddell’s brutal knockout serves as a precautionary tale for promoters, athletic commissions, and matchmakers on how to handle aging fighters. But if you ask Israel Adesanya, who will be sharing the Octagon with his hero Anderson Silva at UFC 234, any comparison between Anderson Silva and Chuck Liddell in 2018 are without grounds:
“Look, he’s not Chuck Liddell,” Adesanya said in an interview with Submission Radio. “Because of (Liddell/Ortiz 3), people are like, oh, how dare you? He’s 43! Look, the last time I remember he was finished was when he broke his leg. He hasn’t been losing badly. He beat Derek Brunson. It was a close fight, I guess, but yeah. I think he’s just been bored.”
It was Anderson Silva who was originally not on board with the bout, but when the green light for the bout was granted by “The Spider,” Adesanya’s disappointment swiftly turned to enthusiasm:
“Initially, I was disappointed because I was like, man, this was the guy who liked the big challenges…the ‘great show,” like he used to say. ‘I want a great show.’ And then, he said no to me. I’m like, man, maybe he doesn’t have it anymore.
“And then, he came back last Sunday, and I was like, yep, I want to do it. I’m like, they must have made him an offer he can’t refuse. Instantly, I knew it was like, title shot.
“I’m going to be the guy to bring the best out of him. You’re going to see a different Anderson, the Anderson of old, if you will.”
Do you agree with Israel Adesanya? Does Anderson Silva still have enough to pose a legitimate threat for him at UFC 234?