Anderson Silva: Career retrospective | Yardbarker


Brazilian MMA fighter Anderson Silva is a reputation synonymous with greatness within the UFC. He was some of the intimidating fighters  in his prime. Let’s check out his legendary profession…earlier than the hype, earlier than all of the knockouts, earlier than changing into the longest reigning champion in UFC historical past and earlier than the leg damage that modified every little thing.


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Humble beginnings

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The UFC legend was born on April 14, 1975, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Silva lived together with his aunt and uncle in Curitiba, Brazil for many of his childhood. At dwelling, the Silva household lived in poverty, struggling to make ends meet. Silva found his calling at a younger age whereas sparring together with his associates as a child. He swore to take his ardour and see how far he may go along with it.

Enjoyable reality: In his early years, Silva worked at McDonald’s.


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Mastering the humanities

Mastering the arts

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Earlier than changing into the middleweight champion of the UFC, Silva needed to practice for hours within the fitness center. By onerous work and plenty of sleepless nights, he earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Taekwondo. He additionally holds a black Pra Jiad in Muay Thai and a yellow belt in Capoeira. As soon as Silva mastered the humanities, it was time to implement them within the octagon.


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Making his identify recognized

Making his name known

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Silva discovered success early on in his profession. After his skilled debut in 1997, Silva fought most of his fights in his dwelling nation of Brazil and abroad in Japan. 

He amassed an 8-1 file from 1997-2002 and have become the Shooto Middleweight Champion by beating Hayato Sakurai, who was undefeated then.

When Silva joined PRIDE Preventing Championships in 2002, it gave the natural-born fighter the proper alternative to showcase his expertise to a wider viewers. Silva dominated in PRIDE. Different MMA organizations got here calling to offer the rising star an opportunity.


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Becoming a member of Cage Rage

Joining Cage Rage

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Silva began combating for Cage Rage Championships in 2004. He turned middleweight champion by defeating Lee Murray in his debut. Silva efficiently defended his title in opposition to Jorge Rivera, Curtis Stout and Tony Fryklund in dominant vogue. Silva made some critical noise in Cage Rage. MMA followers throughout the globe had by no means seen a striker this good with this a lot potential earlier than.


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The UFC debut of a legend

The UFC debut of a legend

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After a lot hype, Silva lastly made his UFC debut in opposition to Chris Leben in June 2006. In entrance of a packed crowd in Las Vegas, Silva landed a flurry of punches earlier than a knee to Leben’s head sealed the deal. The first-round knockout appeared easy. The victory made Silva an instantaneous contender for the UFC Middleweight Championship.


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Turning into UFC Middleweight Champion

Becoming UFC Middleweight Champion

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In UFC 64, Silva would go head-to-head with Wealthy Franklin in a middleweight title combat. Franklin was 22-1 heading into the combat. Silva bought off to a scorching begin. A ferocious sequence of knees to the physique wore out the middleweight champion. Franklin managed to remain upright, however one ultimate knee to the top dropped him to the canvas. The brutal first-round knockout gave Silva the middleweight title belt!

It was official, Silva was UFC Middleweight Champion, and he was ready to wreak havoc on anybody courageous sufficient to return after his title.


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Defending middleweight title in opposition to Dan Henderson

Defending middleweight title against Dan Henderson

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Silva efficiently defended his title in opposition to Travis Lutter, Nate Marquardt and a Wealthy Franklin rematch. All three bouts led to a TKO for Silva. 

In UFC 82, The Spider would defend his title in opposition to Dan Henderson. The Olympic wrestler was poised to throw Silva off his sport. Henderson survived the primary spherical. Within the ultimate moments of the second spherical, Silva gained the combat with a rear-naked choke submission. The assertion victory improved Silva’s file to 23-4.


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Profitable 2008 Fighter of the 12 months

Winning 2008 Fighter of the Year

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Sports activities Illustrated named Anderson Silva the 2008 Fighter of the 12 months. Silva gained three fights in 2008. In addition to the beforehand talked about win in opposition to Henderson, The Spider knocked out James Irvin within the first spherical of a light-weight heavyweight bout and completed the 12 months by defending his title in opposition to Canadian Patrick Cote.

At this stage of his profession, Silva was thought of the perfect pound-for-pound fighter within the UFC. The person appeared unbeatable. Nobody within the middleweight division may determine him out.


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Beating Forrest Griffin in gentle heavyweight bout

Beating Forrest Griffin in light heavyweight bout

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At UFC 101, 34-year-old Anderson Silva asserted his dominance in a light-weight heavyweight bout in opposition to Forrest Griffin. Silva took management of the combat early and sometimes. In the direction of the top of the spherical, Griffin unloaded on Silva with a bevy of punches that didn’t join. Silva dodged the punches, took a step again and threw a good looking jab that despatched Griffin to the canvas. Silva appeared like a strolling cheat code the complete combat.

Forrest Griffin (19-7) was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame on July 6, 2013.


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Silva vs. Sonnen lives as much as the hype

Silva vs. Sonnen lives up to the hype

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

The primary occasion for UFC 117 was Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs. Chael “The American Gangster” Sonnen. It had every little thing you could possibly ask for from a UFC combat. A longtime world champion was challenged by a legendary trash talker–who may again it up–and would cease at nothing to take the throne. Sonnen’s talent set made him a real check for Silva, who was used to having his means with opponents. All issues thought of, this was a legacy combat for Silva.

Sonnen got here out the gates robust. An All-American wrestler at Oregon College, Sonnen’s offensive assault featured flawless takedowns adopted by relentless punches. The bottom sport technique was working. He had Silva’s quantity the complete combat, successful the primary 4 rounds within the course of. It was the primary time Silva took a beating this dangerous in his whole profession. Sonnen was main within the scorecards, and Silva needed to make one thing occur within the fifth.

Sonnen continued dominating within the fifth. It appeared like there could be a brand new middleweight champion within the UFC. Then, with two minutes left within the combat, Silva put Sonnen in a triangle armbar. Sonnen tapped out. Silva gained the combat by submission! It was a miraculous victory for The Spider. The legendary bout is likely one of the best comeback victories in UFC historical past.

Two years later, Silva beat Sonnen once more through TKO in a rematch.


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Beating middleweight contender Vitor Belfort

Beating middleweight contender Vitor Belfort

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Silva fought fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort in a middleweight title bout for UFC 126. Silva was gentle on his toes all combat, bouncing across the octagon and placing when the time was proper. Across the two-minute mark, Belfort left himself open. Silva capitalized. The savvy fighter knocked out Belfort with a entrance kick to the face. It was a factor of magnificence. Silva gained ESPN’s Knockout of the Year honors in 2011. This combat is arguably the magnum opus of Silva’s profession.


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Shedding the middleweight title in stunning upset

Losing the middleweight title in shocking upset

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Everybody meets their maker finally. Silva is not any exception.

At UFC 162, Silva put his middleweight title belt on the road in opposition to Chris Weidman. Within the second spherical, Weidman jawed Silva and despatched him to the canvas. The stunning upset victory made Weidman the brand new champion. A dethroned king, Silva went again to the fitness center in earnest, hungry to win his title again.


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The longest title reign ever

The longest title reign ever

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Silva spent 2,457 days as middleweight champion. It’s the longest title reign ever. From 2006-2013, The Spider appeared unstoppable.


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Greatness personified

Greatness personified

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You’ll be able to’t learn the UFC’s file books with out seeing Silva’s identify on there. He holds the file for the longest win streak in UFC historical past at 16. He’s fought and gained in additional middleweight championship bouts than anybody else (13 fights, 11 wins). His ten profitable title defenses are a middleweight division file. And his 18 knockdowns are the second most in UFC historical past.


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The leg damage heard world wide

The leg injury heard around the world

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At UFC 168, Silva had an opportunity to reclaim his title belt in a extremely anticipated rematch in opposition to Chris Weidman. The primary spherical went in Weidman’s favor. Early within the second, Silva tried to kick Weidman. His leg bent the flawed means and Silva broke his fibula and tibia. The combat was stopped and Weidman gained by TKO. The spine-chilling damage is likely one of the worst you’ll ever see. Silva was rushed to the hospital after the combat.


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Coming again to the octagon

Coming back to the octagon

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports activities

Although he was centered on recovering from his devastating damage, Silva had nothing left to show. His place among the many MMA giants was a no brainer. But The Spider was wanting to make a comeback. On January 31, 2015, Silva stepped into the octagon for the primary time since December 28, 2013! Silva was again in his pure habitat. He confronted Nick Diaz in his comeback bout. Silva gained the combat through unanimous determination, however it was deemed a no contest after he examined constructive for steroids.

General, Silva amassed a 1-5 (1 NC) file after the leg damage. It was the droop of an in any other case nice profession.


Leaving the UFC

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The UFC launched Silva in November 2020. The 2 mutually agreed to half methods. It marked the top of a legendary profession. He completed his UFC profession with a 34-11 file. Following the discharge, Silva took on skilled boxing (extra on this later).


A family man

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Silva has a contented life outdoors the octagon. He married his spouse, Dayane, in 2017. Dayane represented Brazil as an Olympic gymnast within the 2000 and 2004 Summer season Olympic Video games. They’ve 5 youngsters collectively, three boys (Kalyl, Gabriel and Joao) and two ladies (Kaory and Kauana). Don’t be stunned if Silva’s youngsters comply with in his footsteps and provides MMA a attempt.


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Dabbling in boxing

Dabbling in boxing

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Silva can’t appear to steer clear of combating. Following his launch from the UFC, he vowed to offer boxing an opportunity. In 2021, Silva beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Tito Ortiz. Silva has a 3-1 file as a boxer.


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A legendary striker

A legendary striker

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

Silva will probably be remembered as one of many first superstars in MMA historical past. His viral knockouts introduced new followers to his sport, and his impression on the UFC continues to be felt immediately. A uncommon mix of energy, velocity and method, he is likely one of the best strikers in MMA historical past.

David J. Hunt is a contract author primarily based out of Philadelphia. He ran cross nation at Penn State, turned a volunteer firefighter throughout COVID-19, and is a self taught journalist. He is a diehard Philly sports activities fan. When he is not watching sports activities, he enjoys figuring out, fishing, and touring. You could find extra of his writing at The Chestnut Hill Native and The Temple Information. You’ll be able to comply with him on Twitter at @dave_hunt44.

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