Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva smashed on to the scene back in 2006, showing the Muay Thai clinch could be used in clinical fashion to dismantle opponents in the UFC octagon. Rich Franklin and Chris Leben were just the start of what would be a glorious stint as the 185-pound boss.
The Brazilian is a black prajied in the art of Thai boxing, but notice how his style is more counter striking and precision based than all out aggression. His tight clinch of ‘Ace’ during their two title fights influenced how fighters would train for that technique, and his magnificent Theep to the jaw of Vitor Belfort was hailed as the greatest knockout in MMA history. Silva is a master of using upper body control to maintain his target focus when throwing strikes, and has easily become the most established striker in the promotion’s ranks.
Silva’s upwards elbow against Tony Fryklund in Cage Rage is a prime example of how absurdly talented a striker ‘The Spider’ really is.