The words “pound for pound” can be interpreted anyway you would like. But as MMA fans I believe we all have the general idea. Whether you believe it has more to do with weight or with skill. you know how powerful the term is. To call someone the best pound for pound fighter in the world means you believe they are the best fighter that is walking on this earth.
I believe that man is Anderson Silva. Although there are many fighters that are in the conversation I don’t see anyone who has more pound for pound credentials then Silva, the only person who comes extremely close is George St. Pierre. And until that fight happens I can list off a few reasons why The Spider is the epitome of the pound for pound king.
Finishes 74% of the time.
Anderson Silva hasn’t lost a professional mixed martial arts bout since 2006… and that loss was due to an illegal kick in a fight he was sure to win. The spider has fought the best the UFC has to offer for about four years. He holds beautiful finishes over the who’s who in the UFC including Rich Franklin (2), Forrest Griffin, Chris Leben, James Irvin, Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote, and Chael Sonnen. I’m not ignoring the fact that the Leites & Maia fights were horrendous, all I know is that 74% of the time he fights he’s going to finish. Silva now holds the record for most title defenses in the UFC and isn’t taking a break anytime soon.
It’s not often you see someone call an MMA fighter “clutch”. But that’s exactly what Anderson Silva is. In every fight that you thought he could lose, he ends up victorious. Every time you asked yourselves “wow this guy might be the one to do it!” Silva has shut that fighter down. Marquardt was the next best thing and Silva dismantled him in a flash. Henderson was the multi weight pride champion, Silva submitted him in two. A Chael Sonnen on steroids tossed a injured Anderson Silva around the cage for 23 minutes….. And still got submitted in the 5th with a triangle/arm bar combination for the ages. This Brazilian laughs in the face of pressure and does a little dance while doing it.
With Muay Thai that sends Samart Payakaroon running with his tail between his legs, Anderson Silva has some of the most feared strikes in MMA. You can hate on him all you want but those strikes he used to put Rich Franklin away at the end of the second fight were some of the most technically vicious Muay Thai combinations I’ve ever seen in MMA. He knocked former UFC Light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin with a jab, as a griffin fan it kills me to say this but he made him look just plain silly. He’s ground skills are underrated just because his striking is so good. He’s a Black belt under the Nogueria Brothers, and no Chael fans that’s not like getting a toy in your happy meal. He has submitted National & even Olympic level grapplers including Chael Sonnen & Dan Henderson. With that being said Silva is one of the most well rounded fighters in the game and can finish from all areas.
There aren’t many fighters who don’t question themselves one time or another during their career. Even GSP has struggled with this extremely important aspect of mixed martial arts. This is an area Anderson Silva has mastered. He has never once questioned himself in his career and if you don’t believe me you just have to watch his fights. He always holds supreme confidence, he has gotten cocky in the past but I don’t believe it has ever cost him, the guys just that good. He is as cool as ice before, during, and after fights. His nerves never rattle and his will has never been broken, he has unquestionable faith in his skill set and that’s a very dangerous quality, especially in the race for p4p dominance.
Silva has a big fight with Vitor Belfort in February and if he wins that he will not only have cleaned out his division, but will have the opportunity to fight Welterweight champion and pound for pound “rival” Georges St.Pierre. I might be getting ahead of myself here but if Silva beats Vitor in devastating fashion he will have serious momentum and a reason to fight St.Pierre, creating the ultimate super fight. I believe Silva has the skill set to beat GSP if they ever collide, but only time will tell. And all we can do is bicker amongst ourselves on who should be sitting atop the Pound for Pound pyramid.