Jones respected Silva by stating he is “the greatest middleweight of all time”. Looking at his career, there is certainly no denying it. The other gentlemen Johnny Walker wanted to avenge “The Spider” by “breaking Chris’ face”. Saying “I’m a huge fan of Anderson” and he shows it with this claim. With that being said, Anderson Silva is not only a respected man among the UFC, but is also one of the biggest names in MMA.
Ultimate Fight Night 5
Even with this being a UFC-based article, Silva’s success overseas shouldn’t be ignored. He accumulated 17 wins and won both the Shooto and Cage Rage World Middleweight titles. After a great deal of success, Anderson decided to test his skills in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In his debut, Silva breezed through the previously undefeated Chris Leben. No knockouts registered in Leben’s career before the event, which was shortly over when Anderson recorded a knockout in the first-round. In Silva’s very first fight in the UFC, he earned the performance of the night.
Defeating Rich Franklin (2x)
In just his second fight, Silva was already challenging Rich Franklin for the middleweight title in UFC 64. Already a dominating champion, Franklin was predicted to give Anderson a healthy dose of frustration.
However, Silva was defying the odds again, recording another first round KO to regain the title. A much faster and elusive opponent was just too much to handle for Franklin, as he was the victim of Silva’s Thai clinch.
One year later in UFC 77, the two faced off again for the middleweight title. Now swapping sides, Franklin was the one looking to gain the championship. Rich, however, only managed to make it to round two this time. Silva was once again too much for Franklin as he recorded his third title defense.
UFC 82 (Dan Henderson)
This moment is looked upon very highly when regarding Silva’s place among the greatest ever. You just have to consider how good Dan Henderson really is to realize what a big victory this was. Henderson was an Olympic wrestler who was the first man to hold two titles in two different classes.
Despite the accolades, Henderson, like many, fell to “The Spider”. Having early success didn’t get Dan too far. as he was submitted during the second round of the fight. This fight also rewarded Silva with both submission of the night and performance nods.
Defeating Chael Sonnen (2x)
Chael Sonnen, a highly skilled wrestler, was next to square off with Silva, in what will go down as one of the greatest MMA rivalries. The first fight was certainly a highly anticipated one and it sure didn’t disappoint.
In UFC 117, Silva and Sonnen first met in the octagon together. Chael had things rolling for him early landing takedowns at will against Anderson. Then as he always seemed to do, Silva made the adjustment and finished Sonnen in the final round.
Continuing the rivalry, the two men met once again at UFC 148. Silva has previously beaten Rich Franklin twice and was looking to end another rivalry. Instead of the fight lasting until the fifth round, this time it only took Anderson two. Mixing up his shots, Silva was able to land a knockout on Sonnen to end the trash-talking wrestler.
Anderson Silva is no doubt one of the greatest to ever do it in MMA. He has gained so much from the sport and it shows, as others have gained respect for him. “The Spider” will forever be held in the MMA Mount Rushmore, so to speak.
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