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When Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva square off in February, it has all the makings of a passing-the-torch contest.

Both expert strikers with dynamic movement, Adesanya seems ready made to become the heir to Silva’s middleweight career — particularly with The Spider acknowledging there isn’t much long left for him as an active fighter.

But if you’re willing to believe Silva is ready to play ball in this veteran versus new blood story, you perhaps should heed his latest comments made at a media day in Los Angeles this week.

Because according to him, Silva says we’re seeing the same athlete who dominated 185-pounds for years.

“I think everybody is going to see the old Anderson, but more experienced,” Silva said (H/T MMAJunkie). “I don’t have nothing to prove. I passed through different moments in the sport. I win, I lose. I have a lot of experience. I am just doing something for my fans. I am so happy to be back to fighting and I’m here. Every day I come to training and say, ‘Thank you God. Thank you for giving me one more opportunity to do something special.’”

Should Silva beat Adesanya in Australia, UFC president Dana White has gone on record to acknowledge he’ll receive a title shot.