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Spider Bites – Defining Anderson Silva

How did a man considered by most to the best fighter in the world, pound for pound, get here? Read on for his seven defining moments.

UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, a man considered by most
to the best fighter in the world, pound for pound, returns to the
Octagon on August 7th to defend his crown against number one contender
Chael Sonnen in the main event of UFC 117. If he wins, he will add to
his record setting string of title defenses and continue to build on to
his legacy as the greatest 185-pound fighter in MMA history. How did he
get here? Read on for his seven defining moments.
silvanewtonCarlos Newton – March 16, 2003 – PRIDE 25
Result – Silva KO1

Newton, a former UFC welterweight champion just eight months removed
from a rematch loss to Matt Hughes was returning to PRIDE for the first
time in over a year, and with a four fight Japanese winning streak
under his belt, his bout with the virtually unknown (at least to casual
fans) Silva was a big deal. Well, if fans didn’t know who Silva was
before the bell rang, they certainly knew who he was by the time his
flying knee crashed into Newton’s head and sent him crashing to the
canvas. Frighteningly, with the respectful and quiet nature of the
Japanese crowd, Silva’s knee slamming into Newton was audible to all in
attendance and those watching on TV. Bottom line, the man doing the
Michael Jackson impression after the fight was one scary fighter.
Anderson SilvaTony Fryklund – April 22, 2006 – Cage Rage 16
Result – Silva KO1

After the win over Newton, Silva would go 5-3 over his next eight
fights, losing by submission to Daiju Takase and Ryo Chonan and by
disqualification to Yushin Okami, while putting together wins over UFC
vets Jeremy Horn, Lee Murray, Jorge Rivera, and Curtis Stout. The next
UFC vet on his plate was Miletich Fighting Systems’ Tony Fryklund, and
though the result shows up as a KO1 for Silva, it was the way he did it
that was simply amazing. Throwing a back elbow out of nowhere, Fryklund
collapsed to the canvas and was so concussed that his immediate
attempts to get back up were for naught. It was a spectacular show of
Silva’s striking prowess, versatility and creativity.
“That’s what makes a difference,” said Silva when asked what makes
him try moves most fighters wouldn’t dare to. “I don’t think I’m better
than anyone, I just like to prove to myself that things I imagine can
be done. Expect the unexpected.”
Silva Leben UFN 5Chris Leben – June 28, 2006 – UFC Fight Night
Result – Silva KO1

The UFC signed Silva in the time after the Fryklund fight, and while
the diehards knew who “The Spider” was, to the casual fan, The Ultimate
Fighter season one’s Chris Leben – then on a five fight winning streak
– was truly the one moving in on a shot at middleweight boss Rich
Franklin. But as soon as the bell rang, it was clear that this was a
new kind of striker, one who easily avoided Leben’s crude attacks and
fired back with blistering combos that left ‘The Crippler’ defenseless.
The end came at the 49 second mark of the first round, and Franklin had
himself a new prospective contender.
UFC 64 Rich Franklin Anderson SilvaRich Franklin I – October 14, 2006 – UFC 64
Result – Silva KO1

With only one UFC win under his belt, Silva was granted a shot at
Franklin, who had over a year at the top and title defenses over Nate
Quarry and David Loiseau under his belt. And though Silva had walked
through Leben to earn his title fight, many saw the bout as a pick ‘em.
Again, that was until the bell rang, and Silva caught Franklin in a
plumb clinch that the champion was unable to break loose from. While in
the clinch, Franklin ate knee after knee, with the telling blow
shattering his nose. At 2:59 of the first round, there was a new
sheriff in town, and his name was Anderson Silva.
“That fight was a huge turning point in my career,” said Silva. “It
fulfilled a lifetime dream of mine and has changed my life in many
ways.”
UFC 77 Hostile Territory Anderson Silva vs Rich FranklinRich Franklin II – October 20, 2007 – UFC 77
Result – Silva TKO2

Silva didn’t sit on the title after beating Franklin, submitting Travis
Lutter and stopping Nate Marquardt. But it was the rematch with the man
he beat for the crown that got the fight world buzzing. To add to the
intrigue, the return bout was held in Franklin’s hometown of
Cincinnati, but despite the home Octagon advantage, the result was the
same. Sure, Franklin made it to round two, but Silva was just
ferocious, ripping off combination after combination that left “Ace”
bewildered by the assault. Now mind you, Rich Franklin is one of the
best middleweights of this era. To do to him what Silva did is nothing
short of incredible.
UFC 82 Anderson Silva vs Dan HendersonDan Henderson – March 1, 2008 – UFC 82
Result – Silva Wsub2

After running through all his previous UFC opponents, the whispers
started – was anyone going to even challenge Anderson Silva, let alone
beat him? Dan Henderson, the only man to hold PRIDE titles in two
weight classes simultaneously, felt that he was the man to do it, and
after the first five minutes of their UFC 82 bout, he was certainly on
his way, as he tagged Silva with his right hand and kept the champion
from mounting any significant offense. But Silva, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
black belt, kept his characteristic cool, and after jarring Henderson
with strikes in the second round, the bout went to the mat and he
finished ‘Hendo’ off with a rear naked choke. Pound for pound the best
in the world? Absolutely.
UFC 101 Anderson Silva vs Forrest GriffinForrest Griffin – August 8, 2009 – UFC 101
Result – Silva KO1

Following less than memorable wins over Patrick Cote and Thales Leites,
fight fans were getting restless and practically demanding a return to
form from Silva when he tested the 205-pound waters a second time
against former light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin. Well, whether
Silva wanted to silence the critics or just deliver a defining
performance for himself, the end result was a brilliant display of
flashy defense and pinpoint striking accuracy as he blasted Griffin out
in the first round and left a packed house at the Wachovia Center with
their mouths open in awe.