Anderson Silva is set to make his return to the Octagon within the next few months, and when he does, he won't be stepping into the Octagon with a cupcake opponent by any stretch. As a matter of fact, he'll be tested by one of the fastest-rising stars UFC has right now. According to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, UFC president Dana White has confirmed Silva will make his return following what will be a two-year absence on Feb. 9 in Melbourne, Australia, at UFC 234 to face Israel Adesanya in a middleweight bout.
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Silva (34-8-1), still considered by many to be the greatest MMA competitor of all time, last competed in February 2017 at UFC 208 where he took a unanimous decision over Derek Brunson. Prior to that victory, though, Silva was suffering through a minor losing streak that included losses to former middleweight champ Michael Bisping as well as reigning heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Silva stood in for Jon Jones on short notice at UFC 200 in July 2016 to face Cormier after Jones failed a drug test. Silva lost both of those bouts via unanimous decision.
Adesanya (15-0) wouldn't know anything about that losing feeling -- because he has yet to taste defeat in his professional career, which has made the 29-year-old's rise in UFC so exciting to watch. The knockout specialist, who utilizes his mouth just as much as his strikes in the Octagon, has won all four fights he's been a part of this year, with his most recent victory coming over Brunson at UFC 230 earlier this month via first-round TKO.
Silva vs. Adesanya will serve as the co-main event of UFC 234. The main event for the card set to take place inside Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne will feature Robert Whittaker defending his middleweight championship against Kelvin Gastelum. Should Adesanya take care of business -- especially decisively -- against the legendary Silva, then he will have a legitimate claim to facing the winner of the main event.