EXCLUSIVE: UFC 234's Israel Adesanya Talks Anderson Silva & Potential Title Shot With A Win

Israel Adesanya is back in action in the co-main event of UFC 234, facing former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.

The middleweight prospect claims that Silva initially turned down a chance to fight him, but was “honey dicked” into it by the UFC.

“At first, when I heard it was offered to him…he turned it down. He didn’t want to smoke, he came back I think three days later and said he’ll take the fight, in Melbourne as well. From what I’ve heard through the grapevine…from the powers to be, he talked to his old tae kwon do coaches…who just told him to take the fight. At this age, at this time of his life…he’s done everything. So he can just take fights, give me fights. I’m not a give me fight, I’m not a journeyman that you wanna kind of go up against. They kind of honey dicked him in a way with the belt, that’s fair enough. If he can beat me, he definitely deserves a shot at the belt. When I beat him, I should be the next one to get a shot at the belt. I’m happy its playing out this way, it feels like its the right time before he retires,” says Adesanya in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.

Adesanya also said to James that he was the backup for the main event of the show, which pits UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker against Kelvin Gastelum.

Henry Cejudo successfully defended the UFC Flyweight Title against TJ Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night Brooklyn, a victory that Adesanya believes makes Cejudo one of the best fighters ever.

“I thought TJ was gonna do work, but the thing is that cut to flyweight…I wasn’t sure about it but it didn’t get to that point. TJ was looking good, hair was looking better and yeah…he (Cejudo) got him. That punch was so quick, like what I like is that Henry came out right away with a kick and a punch. I call it a four by two, kind of like what I did to (Derek) Brunson. He’s not even like…he’s not even holding back, I like that kind of approach…that kind of energy. He’s gonna bring his own flow, it was impressive…it was impressive. He did what he did, cool…good on him..congrats. He’s solidified himself now as one of the best ever,” says Adesanya.

UFC 234 takes place on Saturday, February 9 from the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia with Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.

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