Popular MMA analyst and UFC color commentator Jon Anik thinks Israel Adesanya has dislodged Anderson Silva from the title of “greatest middleweight.” The Last Stylebender defeated Alex Pereira by knockout to reclaim the middleweight title.
After losing his middleweight belt to the Brazilian at UFC 281, the dominant victory marks the start of his second title reign in the weight class.
Making bold claims about the newly crowned former champ, Anik said “It also, in my humble opinion, cements Israel Adesanya as one of the greatest of all time,” Anik said while appearing on ESPN’s show post-UFC 287.
“There are people who can still argue Anderson Silva is the greatest middleweight champion of all time, and in terms of the title defenses, that is OK. But I sit here in 2023 and not just argue for Adesanya’s case as one of the best pound-for-pound guys right now. I think he’s the greatest middleweight champion of all time based on his strength of schedule and based on this win,” he added.
He continued “This can be argued as one of the biggest singular wins in mixed martial arts history. Certainly the rivalry between these two fighters, it’s well-documented. Even though the series was close, it was 3-0 for Alex Pereira. And one of the hardest things to do, in the UFC in particular, is to lose your belt and then win it back. In the span of five months, he was able to do that.”
Is Israel Adesanya better than Anderson Silva?
After defeating Pereira in UFC 287, Adesanya now has nine middleweight championship victories to his name. While ‘The Spider’ Anderson Silva who is widely considered the ‘GOAT’ of middleweight has had 11 championship wins.
Few more title defenses will place Adesanya ahead of Silva statistically but Silva in his prime was an absolute magician. His fights against Yushin Okami, Forest Griffin, Vitor Belfort, and many more were an absolute spectacle to watch.
Although Adesanya’s latest victory against Pereira was historical in many ways, Adesanya still has a lot to prove. He has been criticized on various occasions for his lackluster victories with very less output. He certainly has a great chance to change that reputation after his latest victory and solidify his case as the greatest middleweight of all time.