Anderson Silva (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

UFC 234: Anderson Silva Returns to Take On Israel Adesanya

While the eyes of the fight world were fixed firmly on Golden Boy MMA’s inaugural event, Liddell vs. Ortiz III, the UFC announced an intriguing bout for UFC 234, which takes place in February. “The Spider” will return to the Octagon.

It’s old school against new school when New Zealander Israel Adesanya takes on Anderson Silva at Rod Laver Arena in neighboring Australia on Feb. 10. The bout was first reported by ESPN late Saturday night.

The announcement came shortly after Adesanya revealed he had a business meeting with UFC President Dana White. The contest has been on Adesanya’s mind for some time. The Nigerian-born athlete last discussed the possibility of squaring up against his “idol” in July.


“The Last Stylebender” is perfect through 15 fights overall in the realm of MMA. The talented kickboxer has four victories so far inside the UFC. He is fresh off a first-round TKO finish of Derek Brunson at UFC 230, which took place in early November. It marked his third “Performance of the Night” since debuting in the UFC in February.

Silva, formerly the record holder for most overall UFC title defenses, hasn’t been seen in the cage since February 2017 at UFC 208, where he topped the aforementioned Brunson via unanimous decision. The Brazilian failed a drug test in October 2017. He was suspended for just a year after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency ruled that the test failure was due to a contaminated supplement. The suspension ended on Nov. 10, 2018.

This is the second middleweight bout announced for the UFC 234 card. Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker’s clash with fourth-ranked Kelvin Gastelum serves as the pay-per-view headliner for the event.