Israel Adesanya has ‘work to do’ to overtake Anderson Silva

Israel Adesanya has ‘work to do’ before he can replacing Anderson Silva as the greatest middleweight of all time.

It depends cfu Hall of Famer and former two-division world champion Daniel Cormier.

The 32-year-old New Zealander is currently preparing for a highly anticipated rematch with Robert Whittakerwhom he will meet on February 12 in the main event of UFC 271 at the Toyota Center in Houston this weekend.

Victory over Whittaker – who hopes to exorcise his demons as he seeks to reclaim the middleweight bracelet – will see Adesanya make the fourth defense of his title.

But Cormier thinks the Nigerian-born Kiwi can’t be put in the same league as the legendary Brazilian.

During a Q&A with ESPN fans, the 42-year-old said: “No man, Anderson Silva existed.

“Anderson Silva existed, like, I don’t understand this recency bias that fans have.

“Guys, you can’t just – honestly, I think the word GOAT is too easy to use in combat sports.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 10: Israel Adesanya of Nigeria hits Anderson Silva of Brazil during their middleweight bout at UFC234 at Rod Laver Arena on February 10, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

‘DC’ says Silva – who is considered one of the best to ever do it in the sport – is without a doubt ‘to mma What Mohamed Ali was from boxing‘.

He continued: “You really have to – the only person not passing is Muhammad Ali.

“There were some really impressive fighters, but people recognize what Muhammad Ali was.

“Anderson Silva was to MMA what Muhammad Ali was to boxing. No, Izzy has some work to do to catch Anderson.

Cormier went on to describe the emotions he felt when he beat Silva in 2016 via a points win.

The American used his wrestling game to effectively neutralize the Spider threat after dominating almost the entire ground fight.

But he admits he was a little stunned ahead of his fight against Silva after they faced off for the first time at the Las Vegas weigh-in.

He recalled, “I looked through the octagon and knew I was fighting Anderson at UFC 200.

“We did the looks for the weigh-ins and I was like, ‘Wow, I’m fighting Anderson Silva.

“Then when we walked into the octagon, I was like, ‘Holy shit, this is Anderson Silva.’

“It felt like the levels just kept rising in terms of appreciating who he was in the sport of MMA.

“Anderson Silva is the MMA, Mixed Martial Arts GOAT at 185. It’s going to be a long time before anyone gets past him.”

READ MORE: Israel Adesanya warns Robert Whittaker ‘he’s not the only one evolving’

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