GOAT? Anderson Silva’s Five Greatest UFC Knockouts

(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Legendary former longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva will return to action in the co-main event of this weekend’s (Sat., Feb. 11, 2017) UFC 208 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, where he’s set to take on No. 8-ranked Derek Brunson.

Silva’s historic reign as 185-pound champion lasted nearly seven years from 2006-2013 and consisted of a record setting 10 consecutive title defenses. He also started his Octagon career with an incredible run of 16 straight victories. His accomplishments will forever speak for themselves, but “The Spider” has recently fallen on rough times, as he hasn’t officially won a bout since 2012. He’s also lost four of his last five fights.

With the 41-year-old looking to get back to his winning ways, there is no better time to reflect on his iconic career and on the wins that led many to label him as the best fighter of all-time.

Let’s take a look at Silva’s five best UFC knockouts:

Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin – UFC 64

In just his second UFC fight, Silva was given a shot at the middleweight title, taking on Rich “Ace” Franklin at UFC 64 on Oct. 24, 2006.

Franklin is known as a durable and skilled veteran, but he proved to be no match for Silva on that fall night in Las Vegas, Nevada. “The Spider’s” brutal Muay Thai was on full display in this fight, as he stunned “Ace” with a vicious knee just minutes into the opening round. He then followed that with a left head kick and another knee before Franklin fell to the mat and left the referee with no choice but to call off the fight.

Not only does this finish rank as one of Silva’s best inside the Octagon, but it was also this finish that marked the beginning of the best title run in promotional history.

  • Dave WC

    The Chris Leben KO is my favorite, for so many reasons. Leben’s prefight interview had him talking about how he’s going to eat Silva’s shots and keep coming like a dump truck. The fact that he made it look so easy. And Silva was pretty unknown at the time. I remember seeing this lanky harmless looking guy across from Leben and not thinking much of his chances. At that point Goldberg hadn’t let us know that he’s a “different kind of striker”. I haven’t missed a Silva fight since.

    • Bill Wolf

      That was an excellent knockout.

  • ShawnKarr

    The fight against Forrest was probably the most humiliating display of martial superiority I’ve ever seen. And to think he did that to a former champion is just incredible!

    • Bill Wolf

      That’s true.

      But there was also his successful title defense against Demian Maia. That was humiliating for the weaker striker, but it made me like Demian Maia for his resolute attitude, and not like Anderson Silva at all.

      I think Georges St-Pierre has a better record than Anderson Silva. Georges St-Pierre’s record of steady consistency and adapting his game to beat any opponent is the best.

      • ShawnKarr

        GSP is one of the more cerebral fighters and adapts his strategy perfectly for his opponents as you said (Koschek, Penn come to mind). But I think that’s more due to Firas Zahabis fight IQ more than GSP. He, along with Fedor, are certainly in the discussion for GOAT but I don’t think they quite measure up.
        I also think GSP is a cheater and find his anti drugs talk AFTER he retires to be kinda cheesy. Many fighters have accused him of greasing up and after watching Penn’s high guard constantly sliding down, I believe it’s true.

        • Bill Wolf

          Lots of fighters get good advice from their corner but they ignore it. With George St-Pierre we got to see how devastating the perfect fight plan can be if it’s executed with great ability and determination. And we saw this over and over. The first time I saw the “great” GSP I was not too impressed with his performance; I thought he was above average but he had the perfect style to beat his opponent. The second time, it was the same story but a completely different style…

          I don’t agree on the drugs. When Georges St-Pierre was fighting he put up his own money to be tested. In my opinion there is nothing more he could have done to show that he was clean.

          • ShawnKarr

            Mind you I’m a big BJ Penn fan, so my opinion of GSP is slightly biased.
            I still remember that third fight with Hughes like it was yesterday. It truly opened my eyes to just how good GSP is. Hughes had absolutely nothing to offer him…and any long time fan knows Matt Hughes was no joke.
            I have to agree with you on the drugs thing. But still think he’s a greaser. It’s an old trick that’s very common in the wrestling circuit and I think GSP was ambitious enough to do just that. And as far as I know, no other fighter has been accused of this, definitely not as many times as GSP was.

          • Bill Wolf

            Before anything else: BJ Penn was great. Being a big BJ Penn fan is justified.

            One of the things I like about Georges St-Pierre was that he knew where he belonged, and he only fought in his best division. BJ Penn didn’t think like that; he scattered his efforts. Only, in these “scattered” efforts he won the gold medal of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship and at UFC 46 he won the welterweight title from Matt Hughes. (As well as earning many other good results.) So what for BJ Penn was perhaps a mistake was for anyone else the maximum possible achievement. What a great fighter!

            On the greasing issue, I don’t have much to say. I’m just a fan watching the DVDs, and obviously I might be biased in favor of the fighter I think is the best ever. I don’t see it, but others, experts, say they did perceive it.

            Finally: whether Anderson Silva was the greatest of all time or not, he is up among the most successful and impressive fighters ever.

            I have every sympathy for Rich Franklin heading for the clinch, thinking, he’s a great striker but I’m strong, so I should be able to do this, only to be horrified by Anderson Silva’s strength in the clinch.

            What do you do about an opponent who is not only the best in striking, but the best (or up there) in the main way you would like to negate the opponent’s striking? For many years, the only answer was: you lose.

          • vulcanman64 .

            Shawn your making no sense. Your saying GSP is a cheater not backing it up however Silva was caught twice on camera rubbing vasoline all over himself. Especially before fighting Sonnen for their second fight. He was Also caught twice for steroids after being tested for the very first time by USADA after the DIAZ fight. He has lost the title of GOAT a long time ago and only teenagers, Bruce lee lovers continue to do so. The man caused his own downfall and he hasn’t won a fight since.

        • Ronald Munoz

          he DEFINITELY greased up before and even during the fight with bj. you can watch his corner rubbing vaseline on his back in between rounds. gsp was undeniably a skilled and intelligent fighter, but he also was a cheater and those who deny this fact either base their opinion of his greatness on what the storybooks say strictly from the statistic standpoint without having actually watched him fight, choose to be ignorant of reality, or willingly look the other way and act as good little fanboys (since his cheating was clearly visible to anyone watching). Again he was good and maybe he could have achieved all those accomplishments without gaining an edge using illegal, unsportsmanlike, and illegitimate tactics; but theres also the possibility that he would have lost had he not cheated, and to me there will always be that shred of doubt (that asterisk next to his name), which eliminates him from ever being seen as the GOAT in my eyes.

  • Shock Wave

    On the real, how do we know that Anderson wasn’t on the Juice this whole time?
    Records or not, I placed an * on all his “wins” when he popped for Steroids.

    • Bill Wolf

      We don’t know.

  • Ronald Munoz

    GOAT is absolutely mighty mouse, the dude is the only fighter to not only be absolutely dominant, seemingly flawless in technique and strategy, is possibly the most analytical and observant of essentially every other active figher (in every division not just his own), and clearly has one of the highest fight iq’s in the game, uses logic without letting emotion cloud his judgement (if in a situation that doesnt seem promising), and brings all of this together to create a gameplan that he DOES NOT break from to destroy his opponents. and has zero evidence of him having ever cheated or juiced (personally i believe no evidence has come up simply because he is clean and does not cheat), and until a day comes that causes me to be skeptical of his integrity, i will continue to believe he is as real as he appears to be. gsp, the spider, fedor, jon jones, or any other fighter one may suggest as the GOAT, does not have the credientials that Demetrious has in the discussion of who the GOAT is.