At least that’s what Adesanya’s longtime striking coach Eugene Bareman thinks.
In his mind, former UFC champ Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC) needs to use the diversity of techniques available in MMA if he wants to defeat Adesanya (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) next month. Deciding to only fight on the feet would be a pivotal error, he said.
“They’re on two different levels,” Bareman said in a recent Adesanya vlog released in advance of UFC 234. “Israel’s a highly refined specialist at what he does. Anderson’s been doing MMA for most of his life, but that’s what makes it so interesting. It’s not a striking fight. In a striking fight it wouldn’t be a competition. It’s an MMA fight, which is like the great equalizer so to speak. That’s what makes it an interesting contest. It’s not a striking fight; it’s an MMA fight and has all those other aspects.”
UFC 234 takes place Feb. 9 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. The middleweight bout between Adesanya and Silva co-headlines the pay-per-view main card.
Silva has been doing work in the UFC since 2006. His nearly seven-year title reign stands as the longest in company history, but at 43, “The Spider” is on the tail-end of his career.
Throughout his career, Silva has delivered some magical striking performances. Adesanya has offered sprinkles of the same in what was a breakthrough 2018. The former kickboxing standout put together four-straight octagon wins to get in position for the fight with Silva in what many are viewing as a “changing of the guard” matchup.
Silva has a major experience edge on his side in terms of MMA competition, though, and if he can put that to use, Bareman expects a challenging night. If he chooses not to, however, it could get ugly.
“In a striking fight, the casual fan is definitely not going to agree with me, but that’s why they’re a casual fan. A striking match is not a competition with Israel Adesanya,” Bareman said. “His pedigree is much higher, and he’s a more high-caliber fighter. But this is an MMA fight, and that makes it more interesting. It makes the playing field more even, and that’s what makes it such an interesting fight.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Coach: Anderson Silva can't beat Israel Adesanya at UFC 234 in striking only fight