Will The Spider Pass The Torch At UFC 234?

UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum
Saturday, February 9th - 10:00pm ET
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia

UFC 234 will take place in the Land Down Under this Saturday, February 9th. In the main event, middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker will defend his title against TUF winner Kelvin Gastelum. Whittaker was

First things first. Bobby Knuckles is hands-down the best unofficial nickname in all of MMA. UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker (21-4) will defend his middleweight title against welterweight-turned middleweight Kelvin Gastelum (15-3).

While that should be a good fight, I'm most excited about the co-main event. Israel "The Last Airbender" Adesanya will stand toe-to-toe against Anderson "The Spider" Silva.

Israel Adesanya -700 vs Anderson Silva +450

The OG versus the young up-and-comer. Will we see a passing of the torch at UFC 234? It's impossible to watch Israel Adesanya in action and not be reminded of a young Anderson Silva. Adesanya's striking and cadence in the octagon is reminiscent of The Spider.

Adesanya is quickly rising through the ranks in the UFC. He's 15-0 and has won all four of his UFC bouts. Adesanya was last seen quickly disposing of Derek Brunson at UFC 230. Israel, who is a native of Lagos, TKO'd Brunson in 4:28 of the first round of their bout. He landed 30 of his 50 attempted strikes, 26 of which were significant strikes. Adesanya also stuffed all of Brunson's takedown attempts.

Just five months prior, The Last Airbender faced off against Brad Tavares. Adesanya dominated Tavares from bell to bell. He out-struck Tavares 254 to 92 and stuffed 22 of 24 takedown attempts.

Anderson "The Spider" Silva is considered by many as one of the all-time MMA greats. Before his hard fall from grace and failed drug tests, many had Silva at the top of their list. Silva last fought almost two years ago at UFC 208. He too is coming off a win over Brunson. Silva secured a close, somewhat controversial decision over Brunson.

Brunson out-struck Silva 236 to 108, landing 22 more significant strikes in the process. Brunson also scored four takedowns on Silva. Brunson dominated Silva in every significant category.

Anderson is 2-4 in his last six fights. The last time we saw Anderson be Anderson was against Stephan Bonnar in 2012. Does The Spider still have something left in the tank?

I'm not so convinced that Silva has fallen off a cliff like many say. Of course, he's not the same fighter he is now at 43 that he was when he was stylin' on everyone. We saw flashes of the old Spider during the Bisping fight.

Can Adesanya out-spider The Spider? Sure. Will he? I don't know. This would be the perfect fight for Silva to make a last resurgence. Silva has 42 fights under his belt. I think that experience will prove valuable against up-and-comer. A win for either fighter could mean a shot at the title. At +450, I've got to ride with The Spider.