TEARS AT THE WEIGH-IN
There was emotion by the bucketload at the weigh-ins as Silva and Adesanya choked back the tears as they addressed the Melbourne crowd ahead of their huge middleweight fight.
With tears in his eyes, Silva said: “Thank you, guys. I worked my entire life for this sport and I tried to do my best.
“I need to say thank you God for giving me one more time a great opportunity to give a great show for you guys.
“Thank you Australia, thank you Dana [White, UFC president]. Thank you so much.”
The emotions found their way across the stage to the usually super-confident Adesanya, too, who tried to joke his tears away as he took his turn on the microphone.
“He’s trying to make me cry! F**k him!” he laughed.
“Melbourne, what’s up! Big shout out to everyone who paid [and] came through to from everywhere around the world to watch this show.
“And a special shoutout – he’s trying to make me cry, for real! – to everyone from Auckland, that came through. I appreciate you.”
Then, after recomposing himself, Adesanya turned his attention to the task at hand, as he looks to defeat the UFC legend and propel himself into a world title fight later in the year.
And despite his coach labeling the Brazilian veteran “The Lance Armstrong of MMA” earlier in the week, Adesanya couldn’t help himself from a final word of respect for Silva, who he vowed to send into retirement “in a nice way.”
“Look, I’m a fan of this man, but just because I’m a fan, it doesn’t mean he can’t catch these hands! And elbows! And feet! And knees!” he said as the crowd roared their approval.
“We’re going to throw everything in the cage. We’re gonna have fun, alright? I’ll send him off in a nice way. Let’s go!”
The UFC middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum may be off, but the UFC 234 fight card in Melbourne goes ahead with a middleweight title eliminator in the new main event. Follow our live updates here.