The UFC 234 weigh-ins have delivered an iconic moment for the sport as legendary middleweight Anderson Silva broke down on stage after stepping off the scales.
The 43-year-old veteran was unable to compose himself when asked about what it mens to him to be back in the Octagon and he was unable to keep it together ahead of his showdown with red-hot Kiwi Israel Adesanya at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Sunday.
Silva left commentators stunned when he was asked a first question following his weigh-in, but needed almost a full minute to compose himself before he was able to give a response.
After twice burying his head into his chest to try and hide tears, the veteran, all-time legend was simply overcome by the immensity of what could be his final fight in the Octagon.
He said afterwards, he was simply overcome by the joy of getting one final chance to step into the Octagon.
“Thankyou guys. I worked my entire life for this sport,” Silva said.
“I have tried to do my best and I need to say thankyou to god for giving me one more shot, one more time.”
The emotion in the building also caught up with his opponent Adesanya, who also fought back tears when paying tribute to Silva immediately after.
“He’s going to make me cry,” Adesanya said.
“F*** him. I’m a fan of this man, but just because I’m a fan, that doesn’t mean that he can can catch these hands and feet and elbows. Tomorrow we’re going to have some fun and I’ll send him off in a nice way.”
An emotional Adesanya appeared to be overcome by the magnitude of coming up against his childhood hero, while also receiving immense support in Melbourne from New Zealand fans.
UFC commentator Ariel Helwani described the emotional scenes as something he has “never seen before”.
Other UFC commentators were more taken by Adesanya’s classy, colourful response to Silva’s breakdown.
The pair both weight in under the limit, meaning they will still be looking to bust each other open when they clash in the Octagon on Sunday.
Main event pair Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum, who are fighting for the middle weight belt, also made weight.
For many, Adesanya’s interview that followed stole the show.
It was another Kiwi who stole the show earlier during the weigh-ins with featherweight fighter Shane Young performing a New Zealand Maori war cry while advancing on his opponent Austin Arnett on stage after stepping off the scales.
During Friday’s official press conference Whittaker said he hopes a loud Melbourne crowd helps him keep his UFC world title.
Known as “The Reaper”, a steely-faced Whittaker allowed himself a smile as the 1000-strong crowd that had gathered to watch the press conference broke into an Aussie chant on Friday.
The middleweight mixed martial arts champion hoped he would have similar support in his first title defence in Australia,at Rod Laver Arena.
“I’m going to be in there giving it everything I’ve got anyway,” Whittaker said. “Normally you can block the crowd out but the Rod Laver Arena is something …read more
Source:: Daily times