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Anderson Silva Biography

MMA Biography: Anderson Silva

By Loot, MMA Handicapper,

Anderson Silva, longtime UFC Middleweight Champion, is one of the greatest fighters in the history of MMA. THe issue of the greatest ever will be meted out over the course of added time and perspective. But when that conversation takes place, Anderson Silva is a fighter whose name will receive abundant consideration. The receipts are not yet all in (This article written in 2014), but Silva’s accomplishments are numerous.

He has beaten Hall of Fame MMA names like Rich Franklin (twice), Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, and Chael Sonnen (twice), among many others. He was unbeaten in the UFC longer than any other fighter. He held the UFC Middleweight Title for over 6 years. He defended his title an incredible ten times.

He began practicing jiu jitsu as a youngster, eventually branching out to other forms of fighting, eventually becoming the well-rounded fighter we see today. Silva is a prodigy in the area of muay-thai striking and a black belt in judo. He turned pro as a welterweight in Brazil, scoring two wins in 1997. It would be until 2000 when he fought again. During that time, he had a pro boxing match, losing by TKO.

In 2000, he returned full-time to MMA, but lost his first match by decision to one Luiz Azeredo. Silva, undaunted, continued racking up wins in Brazil. He earned a chance to fight in the more high-profile Pride promotions in Japan. Silva made good by winning his first three fights, two by knockout. In his first big win, he knocked out former UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton.

His first fight after Newton was a strange one, as he was dominated and submitted by sub-.500 fighter Daiju Takase in the first round. But in 2004, Silva rebounded, scoring a pair of nice wins over Jeremy Horn and Lee Murray. During this time, Silva was splitting his time between Pride and other organizations, like Cage Rage. 2004 ended badly for Silva, as he was again submitted by Ryo Chonan.


Three fights later, Silva was disqualified for using an illegal up-kick against Yushin Okami. It was early 2006 and it would be the last time Silva lost. After knocking out Tony Fryklund, he was invited to the UFC. While he came into the organization with some hype, few could have predicted how utterly dominant he would eventually become.

It didn’t take long for Silva to make his impression felt. He knocked Chris Leben silly with a knee in just 49 seconds, setting up a title opportunity against UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin. The reigning champion was flying high--on a run of 9 straight wins including 3 title fights. But he had no answer for the deadly knees of Silva and was knocked out in under 3 minutes of the first round.

This signaled the beginning of the greatest title run in the history of the UFC. One title challenger after the next bit the dust, as Silva cemented his legacy. Travis Lutter got choked out. Double-tough Nate Marquardt got knocked out in the first round. Ex-champ Rich Franklin was again stopped by knees in the rematch. Legendary Dan Henderson was choked out in the second round.

In a light heavyweight non-title bout, Silva stopped James Irvin in a minute. Patrick Cote bit the dust. And the defenses kept coming. Silva got his first real competition when pushed to the limit by Chael Sonnen in their 2010 bout. In the last moments of the 5th round, Silva snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by sinking in a triangle on Sonnen to save the belt and keep his inactive streak alive.

Those who felt the Sonnen fight indicated that Silva was slipping would continue to wait. He got back to work, stopping Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami, setting up a rematch with the only man to test him in the UFC--Chael Sonnen. The pre-fight build-up saw Silva uncharacteristically engage the fast-talking Sonnen in some mean-spirited verbal jousting. Sonnen certainly got under Silva’s skin.

A motivated Silva ended matters in the second round, putting to sleep his first serious rival during his UFC days. He cleaned out the division and his legacy is secure. As all fighters do, Silva eventually got old, dropping two fights to his successor Chris Weidman. The second bout saw Silva break his leg, as Weidman checked a kick with his knee. Silva vows he will return. Regardless of what happens, he has to be considered one of, if not the best fighter in MMA history. It’s difficult to forecast what the future holds, but Anderson Silva is at the very least--one of the greatest to ever do it.

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