June 28th 2006 | The stage was set for Anderson Silva to make his debut in the world’s biggest mixed martial arts promotion, the UFC. Silva (36-6 MMA, 16-2 UFC) entered the octagon at UFC Fight Night 5 where he faced TUF standout Chris Leben in what would be one of the most dominating debuts ever witnessed. This fight would mark the beginning of one of the greatest runs in UFC and MMA history.
After defeating Leben, Silva was immediately rewarded a title shot against Rich Franklin in a title fight that did not escape the first round. Franklin left the octagon that night without the middleweight championship while treating a broken nose courtesy of a knee from Silva which ended the fight.The seemingly unbeatable Silva then went on to cement one of the greatest runs ever produced as he destroyed almost each and every opponent placed in front of him in a streak which spans from 2006 to 2013.
In October of 2012, Silva stepped in to headline UFC 153 opposite Stephan Bonnar when Jose Aldo suffered an injury forcing him out of his featherweight title fight against Frankie Edgar. This would be the last time Silva would earn a win on his mixed martial arts record.
And in comes Chris Weidman. Now in his tenth championship title defense, Silva accepted a fight against an up and comer in Weidman who was also undefeated in the UFC. The two middleweights faced off at UFC 162 on July 6th of 2013 in what could quite possibly be the most memorable and shocking fights of all time. As the fight went into the second round, Silva had found his distance and was as comfortable as ever as he began to throw kicks and punches at the challenger. The second round continued, Silva became so comfortable and confident in his abilities that he left his hands down as Weidman landed a solid punch, Silva then taunted Weidman acting as if he were hurt by the punch. Weidman would then land a left hand which concussed the legendary UFC champion, sending him to the canvas to be finished off via ground and pound from the new champion.
As this was the first loss of Silva’s career while with the UFC he was rewarded an immediate rematch with Weidman in an attempt to prove that he was still worthy of the title of the best pound for pound fighter in mixed martial arts today.
Five months later, the one time champion would get a shit at vengeance as he would face Weidman in an anticipated rematch headlining UFC 168. Entering this fight in a much more focused mind state, Silva was confident and in good shape and spirits.
Much like their first outing, the rematch would not escape the second round. In the first round both fighters connected in a clinch, while Silva attempted to position Weidman’s head for a knee he was dropped by a huge right hand. Silva soon recovered and the fight would continue onto the second round. At 3:45 of the round two Silva threw a left leg kick which Weidman was able to check, breaking Silva’s leg in the process.
“A champion is defined by how he overcomes adversity” – Anderson Silva
Following his loss to Weidman at UFC 162 in an interview with color commentator Joe Rogan, Silva stated that he would never fight for the belt again. When asked if he would retire he was quick to respond that he had ten fights left on his contract which he intends to fulfill.
January 31st 2015 will mark Silva’s first fight in the UFC since December of 2013 when he is scheduled to face Nick Diaz at UFC 183. The two will be entering the octagon with back to back losses and with a much needed win added to their record. Both Diaz and Silva have done their fair share to cement their legacy, a loss in this fight for either men would not be as significant as a loss toward another competitor in either of their divisions.
UFC president Dana White recently confirmed that if “The Spider” is to defeat Diaz at UFC 183, he will earn a title shot opposite the winner of Weidman vs Belfort which headlines UFC 184. Silva was recently quoted as to saying he would not be willing to fight for the title if a fellow countrymen is holding the championship. Many fans and media alike question Silva’s ability to defeat Weidman to hear his title back following back to back losses to the Long Island native.
There has been talks of Silva having “demons” coming into his first fight coming off of a broken leg injury but in recent interviews, the former middleweight champion has confirmed that he is in full sparring in his training camp leading up to his five round fight with Diaz. If Silva could beat Diaz, we could very well be witnessing one of the newest and greatest chapters in the life of the so-called “greatest of all time”, Anderson “The Spider” Silva.