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Anderson Silva – A career of highlights

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Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Stephan Bonnar. (AP)

The spectacular moments former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has been a part of over the years are too numerous to list in detail, and all that he's accomplished cannot be encapsulated in numbers. Still, we'll try. Below are some of Anderson Silva's major records as well as a look back at some of his most memorable wins.

Anderson Silva in numbers

Overall record:

33-6

Longest winning streaks:

(August 12, 2000-March 3, 2003) Nine wins in a row, six by way of either KO or submission.

(April 22, 2006 – July 6, 2013) Seventeen wins in a row, fifteen by way of KO or submission

UFC title defenses:

Ten official consecutive successful title defenses from the time Silva won the UFC middleweight championship on October 14, 2006, until he lost it on July 6, 2013.*

*Eleven if you include his first fight after winning the middleweight title, against Travis Lutter that was made a non-title fight after Lutter missed weight. Silva won via triangle choke submission in the second round.

Time as champion:

October 14, 2006–July 6, 2013

Fights at light heavyweight:

Silva moved up twenty pounds and fought three times at light heavyweight, against James Irvin (July 19, 2008) , former 205-pound division champion Forrest Griffin (August 9, 2009) and against Stephan Bonnar (October 13, 2012).

Anderson Silva’s Biggest Fights

Rich Franklin I

With just one UFC fight under his belt, Anderson Silva was thrust into the spotlight with a fight against then-middleweight champion Rich Franklin on October 14, 2006. It took Silva less than one round to wrest the belt away from Franklin via KO and usher in a new era of UFC history. Silva would knock out Franklin again in October 2007.

Chael Sonnen I and II

Chael Sonnen, a former international wrestling competitor, appeared to be an underachieving fighter until going on a tear in 2009 and 2010, winning three straight fights against top middleweight contenders and earning a shot at Silva’s belt. Though most gave Sonnen little chance of winning heading into their August 2010 bout, the brash wrestler turned the fight into a blood feud months before the opening bell with outlandish and often racist trash talk directed at Silva. Then, Sonnen went out and proved to the world that he was indeed in Silva’s class by dominating the champion for the entire fight until Silva caught him in a triangle choke in the fifth and final round. Sonnen tapped out, and Silva reached a new plane of greatness.

The two were set to rematch immediately until it was revealed that Sonnen had failed a post-fight drug test and was suspended from competition. Silva vs. Sonnen II finally happened July 7, 2012. Sonnen once more dominated the opening round with take downs and ground control. In the second, however, Silva turned out of the way of a Sonnen back-fist strike, causing Sonnen to fall, and then Silva delivered one of the most pin-point knee strikes – to the chest – ever doled out and forced a TKO stoppage.

Dan Henderson

On March 1, 2008, Silva faced the man many assumed would prove his biggest challenge yet as UFC champion. Henderson was a former Olympic wrestler and was champion in Pride at not one but two separate weight classes. In the first round, Henderson was able to use his wrestling to drag Silva to the ground. The champion survived, however, and in the second round dropped Henderson to the mat and then finished him off with a rear naked choke.

Forrest Griffin

Forrest Griffin was not just any light heavyweight that Anderson Silva was moving up in class to fight. Griffin was the former unified light heavyweight champion – the first in history – and was much larger than Silva. Even so, “The Spider” baited and stung Griffin, dropping him multiple times with punches before earning the KO victory in the first round.

Vitor Belfort

On February 6, 2011, Silva defended his title against Brazilian superstar Vitor Belfort in their native country. Silva was the champion, but Belfort was the true celebrity in Brazil at that point, having won multiple UFC titles in the past, marrying a famous model and becoming a reality TV star. More importantly, Belfort possessed the fastest and most powerful hands in the division. They didn’t help him against Silva’s feet, however. In the first round, Anderson landed a front kick flush to the jaw of Belfort, knocking “The Phenom” out cold.


Related Story: Anderson Silva's legacy secure, complete

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