Michael Bisping: Anderson Silva ‘without question’ still middleweight GOAT over Israel Adesanya

For Michael Bisping, Anderson Silva is still the greatest middleweight of all time.

With middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (24-2 MMA, 13-2 UFC) looking to kickstart his second title reign against Sean Strickland (27-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 293 main event, the greatest 185-pounder conversation has reignited.

Silva holds the record for most title defenses in UFC middleweight division history at 10, and Bisping thinks it’s hard to ignore that when having the debate.

“Listen we could sit here all day and we pontificate and come out with theories and who’s the best and why and all the rest of it,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “Right now, Anderson Silva is ahead on all the numbers – knockouts, wins, defenses, length of time, all the rest of it.

“It all points toward Anderson Silva, and I think he’s got the better style so far. ‘The Last Stylebender’ is incredible to watch, but the way that Anderson Silva would dispose of his opponents was legendary back in the day.”

Silva notched iconic finishes over the likes of Forrest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, and Vitor Belfort during his title run. Adesanya has had a few incredible moments of his own, when he finished Robert Whittaker to claim the title the first time at UFC 143, and knocked out Alex Pereira to later reclaim it at UFC 287.

Both Bisping and Adesanya shared the cage with Silva, defeating the Hall of Famer by decision in the latter stage of his career. But Bisping doesn’t take that into account too much.

“They’re two great fighters from two different eras,” Bisping said. “They did get to fight one another and of course Israel won, but as I said before, you can’t really look at that fight too much. You can’t really give it too much weight, and I know that sounds like an insult to Israel Adesanya.

“That’s not what I’m doing. They’re both incredible. I’m fans of them both. Right now, the greatest middleweight of all time without question is Anderson Silva, but Israel Adesanya is still only 34 years old. The man is still in his prime, and he’s fighting every few months.”

UFC 293 takes place Saturday at Qudos Bank Arena. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews/ESPN+ and early prelims on ESPN+.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 293.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie