Having shared the octagon with Silva in what was considered a “passing of the torch” bout at UFC 234, Adesanya learned a few things about the MMA legend’s approach to his opponents.
Silva’s next foe, Jake Paul, was curious about Adesanya’s honest feelings on their upcoming eight-round pro boxing match at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Ariz., and the UFC champ kept it real with the YouTuber.
“Bro, you gotta be careful,” Adesanya said on BS w/ Jake Paul. “I gotta be honest with you, you gotta be careful, man. Like, Silva – I think Logan (Paul) DM’ed me a while ago when he was gonna fight Silva, and kind of asked me my opinion and I was like, ‘If you take this fight, take it seriously ’cause he’s no joke.’ Silva is the master. He’s the mastermind, man.
“… He’s a friendly guy, I love Silva. He’s cool and he’s a humble dude, genuine dude as well. But when it comes to war, he’s a savage. He’s from the streets, bro. You gotta remember this guy is from the streets, from the favelas. He don’t give a f*ck.”
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Throughout his career, Silva has always been a magnetic personality who embraces the entertainment aspect of fighting while being effective inside the cage or ring. In the lead up to competition, “The Spider” typically has a big smile on his face and will joke around during fight week, or employ other tactics that Adesanya believes have a larger purpose.
“The way he talks to you – I remember when we were weighing in, we were in Melbourne, he starts getting teared up,” Adesanya started. “And I’m looking, and I’m like, ‘F*ck all that.’ And I’m getting welled up. I was like, ‘F*ck all that.’ And then I could just see, I was like, this is a tactic. He’s trying to lower my defenses. As soon as I got backstage at the weigh-ins, Eugene (Bareman), my coach said, ‘You know what that was?’ I was like, ‘Yeah. F*ck off, don’t worry. I got this.’”
Paul admits he has picked up on some of those things, and says he won’t let it deter his focus on doing what he needs to do in order to win his sixth pro boxing bout.
Silva has been known to play around during fights to take his opponent off their game. Although that backfired tremendously against Chris Weidman at UFC 162, his comfort during the heat of battle comes from the confidence in his abilities as one of the most elite strikers MMA has ever seen.
“He’s a crafty dude, he’s a spider,” Adesanya said. “He’ll f*cking lure you into the web. False sense of security – that’s one thing he’s good at. I’ve seen him do it for years.”
Ultimately, “The Last Stylebender” believes Paul can win the fight if he brings the right strategy. He also warned that Paul should not be taking the age gap into consideration.
“You can get it done,” Adesanya said. “Silva can be beat. And this is boxing as well, it’s not MMA. He is getting older, and I don’t really think that plays a factor as everyone is saying. Don’t f*cking believe the hype, just because he’s 42 or whatever. He’s a different kind of 42-year-old. He’s just different.”
For complete coverage of the card, check out MMA Junkie’s event page for Paul vs. Silva.