Anderson Silva labels B.J. Penn as the greatest MMA fighter of all time: ‘I’m a big fan’

Anderson Silva
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari - Zuffa LLC & Buda Mendes - Zuffa LLC

Former undisputed UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva has heaped praise on former undisputed lightweight and welterweight titleholder, B.J. Penn – labelling his fellow sport pioneer as the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time.

Silva, a former undisputed middleweight champion under the UFC banner, turned in a whopping 10 separate title defenses during his pomp atop the promotion’s middleweight limit. And is set for another return to the squared circle late next month in a professional boxing match against the undefeated YouTuber, Jake Paul.

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As for Hawaiian veteran, Penn, the veteran former undisputed welterweight and lightweight champion, last featured professionally at UFC 237 back in May 2019 as part of his sport comeback, slumping to a disappointing seventh consecutive loss in the form of a unanimous decision defeat to Clay Guida in Brazil.

However, earlier in his career and during his initial and gold-laden tenure with the organization, Penn, a native of Kailua, was revered as one of the sport’s best at the time, capturing wins over the likes of Din Thomas, Matt Serra, Takanori Gomi, Matt Hughes, Duana Ludwig, Renzo Gracie, Jens Pulver, Joe Stevenson, Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian, and Diego Sanchez.

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Anderson Silva showers praise on fellow ex-UFC champion, B.J. Penn 

Recognising Penn’s career accomplishments and Octagon success, speaking ahead of his Phoenix, Arizona boxing match with Paul, Silva – also regarded by many in the sport as the greatest to ever don a pair of gloves, claimed that Penn was the best mixed martial artist he has ever witnessed.

“All right, so I think B.J. Penn is the best MMA fighter I’ve ever seen fight in my entire life,” Anderson Silva said during a recent interview with reporter, Helen Yee. “I’m a big fan of B.J. Penn.” 

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Himself landing in the UFC back in 2006, Anderson Silva would go on to clinch the undisputed middleweight title against Rich Franklin in October of that year, before defending his throne on 10 separate occasions.