Anderson Silva legacy secure, complete

Hey guys, just my latest column for Yahoo! A retrospective on Anderson Silva. 

 

When the UFC signed Anderson Silva in 2006 one could have scarcely predicted how monumental the move would become. The thirty-something Brazilian had certainly had a solid professional international fighting career up to that point and was almost always exciting to watch but he was also just 3-2 in his prior five fights.

In fact, Silva had recently almost retired because he was so disappointed with where his career was headed after a submission loss to Ryo Chonnan on New Year’s Eve, 2004 in Pride. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira talked Silva out of it and helped support him as he worked to get back on track.

To say that Silva rebounded would be a huge understatement. The flashy journeyman, who had been susceptible to submissions and was overshadowed by teammates like Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, stayed with it, improved immeasurably and hit the UFC running.

In his UFC debut, Silva dismantled the granite-chinned Chris Leben, who up to that point was undefeated in the promotion. After that, Silva went straight to a shot at middleweight champion Rich Franklin.

Pundits won’t admit it now, but many of us thought that Silva was being rushed into a fight he wasn’t ready for against Franklin. Sure, Silva was dynamic but the strong, well-rounded Franklin seemed like a leap up in competition for the Brazilian after Leben.

As it turned out, somewhere between Japan, England and the United States, Anderson Silva became “The Spider” – an unstoppable force of fighting nature that wouldn’t lose for the better part of a decade. Silva brutalized Franklin with ease, took the middleweight title and did not look back for nearly seven years.

From good to great

Silva would go on to defend the middleweight title a record 11 consecutive and successful times (yes, we’re counting his submission win over Travis Lutter, who missed weight the day before and turned the fight into a non-title affair, because it only makes sense to in the spirit of the term, “title defense”). Silva also moved up in weight three separate times to dominate three light heavyweights, including the first ever unified 205-pound champion, Forrest Griffin.

By the time his first fight against challenger Chris Weidman came around this past summer, Silva had long been the most dominant champion in MMA history. He would go on to lose to Weidman, nearly ten years his junior, twice in a row.

Those wins certainly established Weidman as the undisputed best middleweight in the world at this point in time, but the devastating losses for Silva can’t change his place in history.

From 2006 to 2013, Silva was fighting greatness personified. He was good enough to bully lesser opponents and great enough to come from behind and beat back legitimate threats to his reign.

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Yes it is. He's a boss Phone Post 3.0

Thanks for reading, guys

Thanks for reading, guys

TTT.

Thanks for the bump!

I just read it off Yahoo, well done.

There seems to be this notion that even if a fighter is considered the GOAT or one of the GOATs, whatever he did to put him in consideration of that is somehow erased or questioned once they eventually lose after a super long reign and they are getting older.

It would have been even greater had he beat Weidman in the rematch and even though he nearly got finished in R1, i think he still had a chance as he was moving well in R2 but it wasnt to be and it ended up in such unfortunate fashion though we still have to consider that Anderson made some mistakes and Weidman did the right thing in checking the kick.

Anyhow.....legacy was set in stone some time ago imo.

Thanks.

Saw this on the front page of Yahoo. A good read, sir. Phone Post 3.0

Good reminder pointing out, like he talked about in Water, that he nearly retired BEFORE coming to the UFC and i think Nog convinced him to stick it out. And then he went on a record breaking run in the UFC. He had already a decent list of wins coming into the UFC: Sakurai (arguably #1 P4P at the time and undefeated), Newton, Horn, Rivera, Steibling, Murray, Kato.

great article, takes a special kind of asshole to attack someones accomplishments when they finally lose amd act like it was all luck and good fortune. Phone Post 3.0

Great article dude

Elias Cepeda -


Thanks for reading, guys

Fantastic writing! Phone Post 3.0

Silva is one of the greats for sure.

His time is done, however.

Bump.

Didn't know you were picked up by Yahoo, congrats.

That is one of the most excellent and well thought/spoken things I have read in a while. Thank you.

Wow, thanks for all the reads and kind words! I really appreciate the UGs support. Phone Post 3.0

Good article.

He took the sport to a new level and set the bar for the younger generation to aspire to.

Many thanks to you Anderson.