Fight week is upon us here at LowKickMMA as UFC Fight Night 84 is set for this upcoming Saturday (February 27, 2016) live on UFC Fight Pass from the O2 Arena in London, England.
The main event features a highly anticipated middleweight showdown between former long-time champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva and divisional mainstay Michael “The Count” Bisping.
It’s no secret that Silva has had his fair share of issues over the last few years, including a winless record since 2012, a gruesome leg injury suffered at UFC 168, and most recently a failed drug test for anabolic steroids after his return at January 2015’s UFC 183.
While these issues have undoubtedly loomed over Silva’s head, he also remains amongst the greatest talents we’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing inside of the Octagon.
Holding the records for most consecutive UFC wins (16), as well as most consecutive title defenses (10), “The Spider” notoriously reigned over the middleweight division for nearly seven years, spanning from 2006-2013.
Apparently at age 40 Silva intends to make one last title run, and while it’s unclear how realistic that may be, his career speaks for itself.
As he gets set to make another walk to the Octagon, let’s take a deeper look into an illustrious career with Anderson Silva’s greatest hits:
6. Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin – UFC Fight Night 14
Fighting multiple times at light heavyweight throughout his career, Anderson Silva faced off with a larger man at July 2008’s UFC Fight Night 14, taking on James Irvin.
The size difference would prove to be no factor, however, as Silva would follow a caught low kick with a deadly right hand just over a minute into the first round.
Showing off his phenomenal accuracy, “The Spider” would promptly take out a bigger challenge, and score one of the finest knockouts of his career.
5. Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin – UFC 101
Once again, Anderson Silva would move up in weight at UFC 101 in August 2009 to face off with former 205-pound title holder Forrest Griffin.
While a tough and gritty fighter in his own right, Griffin was undoubtedly out-skilled by the Brazilian knockout artist, and it would quickly show.
Dropping Griffin numerous times early on in the bout, Silva quickly got into his groove, fighting with his hands down using his patented head movement. Simply making his opponent look like an amateur, “The Spider” would slip and duck everything thrown his way before scoring a picture perfect one-punch knockout victory.
A truly masterful performance from Silva, and one of his most memorable for sure.
4. Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson – UFC 82
Silva would put his 185-pound strap on the line for the third time in the main event March 2008’s UFC 82, taking on former Olympian Dan “Hendo” Henderson.
Known for his decorated Greco-Roman wrestling background and devastating right hand, Henderson is a legend of the sport, but like many others, proved to be no challenger for “The Spider”.
After the fight went to the ground early on, Silva showed that he was able to hold his own, ultimately putting his world class, but slightly overlooked Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on display, scoring a second-round rear naked choke victory.
Not only would he defend his title, but he would also unify the PRIDE welterweight championship, adding another accomplishment to his resume.
Chael Sonnen” width=”712″ height=”526″ />3. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen – UFC 117
Although Silva came out victorious at UFC 82, Henderson proved that he was susceptible to the takedown, which ended up being quite the issue when “The Spider” met notorious trash talker and elite wrestler Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 in August 2010.
Sonnen essentially used his pressure to repeatedly take the Brazilian down over the course of five rounds, constantly landing in mount and pattering Silva with ground and pound strikes.
“The American Gangster” controlled nearly all of the action and was minutes away from being crowned champion when Silva pulled one last trick out of his hat.
With less than two minutes to go in the final frame, “The Spider” sunk in a slick triangle arm bar submission, forcing Sonnen to tap and retaining his title in spectacular comeback fashion.
Undoubtedly one of the most prolific wins of his career, Silva would finish off the rivalry in the rematch as well, scoring a second round TKO over Sonnen at UFC 148.
2. Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin I & II – UFC 64 & UFC 77
After just one fight in the UFC, Silva was awarded a middleweight title shot opposite champion Rich “Ace” Franklin at UFC 64 in October 2006.
Seizing the opportunity at hand, this fight would mark the beginning of Silva’s illustrious reign, as he would put his lethal Muay Thai skills on display, scoring a brutal first round TKO via the use of devastating knee strikes.
Now the man to beat at 185-pounds, “The Spider” would replicate his performance in a rematch with Franklin a year later at UFC 77 in October 2007. This time letting the fight last until the second round, Silva would once again bust “Ace” up with knees to score an impressive finish victory.
Just two of his many stoppage victories, Silva’s battles with Franklin clearly rank amongst his best career performances.
1. Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort – UFC 126
Facing off with fellow country man Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort at February 2011’s UFC 126, Silva was in for quite the striking battle.
Belfort, a man known for his relentless power, and brute explosiveness, stands out as one of the best knockout artists in middleweight history.
Once again, however, “The Spider” proved to be on another level.
Just minutes into the first round, Silva would land a picturesque front kick square on the face of Belfort, sending “The Phenom” crashing to the canvas. A flurry of punches later, and Silva would be the owner of one of the most iconic knockouts in sport history.
What is your favorite Anderson Silva moment?