Reporters pick top moments from Anderson Silva’s legacy of UFC greatness

The main event in Anderson Silva’s fight with Uriah Hall on Saturday will probably be his last fight with the UFC, but that doesn’t mean the big man is still planning to stop the fight altogether.

This could be my last fight at the UFC, Silva told ESPN Ariel Helvani. But let’s look at the result.

Silva wants to see what happens to the location in Las Vegas before he makes a decision about his future. Silva has been down 6-1 for eight years. Can another loss convince him to call it a resignation? Will his impressive victory convince him to keep fighting for another promotion?

Should Silva decide to leave the UFC, his legacy will include a series of 16 battles, the longest in the history of the UFC, and an album of memorable performances.

ESPN MMA reporters associate their best memories with their Hall of Fame careers.

Difficult tasks

Fault! The file name is not specified. – set


Watch Anderson Silva’s key moments in the Octagon for the latest UFC game.

Phil Murphy: My dearest memory of Anderson Silva is in fact a little from the left field. Silva maintained his dominance over middleweight players for two years, closing every UFC opponent in two rounds. The 19th. In July 2008, four months after his victory over Dan Henderson at UFC-82, Silva 14-4 was included in the weight class on a cable card against former heavyweight James Sandman Irwin, who was not on the grid at the time.

Saturday’s UFC Fight Night could be the last game of Anderson Silva’s career. Silva, recognised as one of the largest MMAs of all time, will be held during the main event for Uriah Hall. Andre Fili Bryce Mitchell will take over at the main event.

CFU Fighting night: Room vs Silva
– Saturday, Las Vegas
Main card: ESPN+, 7:00 IN THE MORNING. ET
Forewords: ESPN+, 16:00 AND

Subscribe to ESPN+ and enjoy exclusive live UFC events, Ariel and the bad guy participation, Dana White’s Contender series and other exclusive MMA content.

Imagine Israel’s Adezania in front of Anthony Ramble Johnson for £205 at a big event a few weeks after a big fight with no participation fee. That will never happen.

But that was 12 years ago. Silva came into the game as a big favorite, but questions about how the power of Spider will move the weight class against a much larger opponent remained unanswered. The answers were given in 61 seconds. Silva intercepted a body shot and rhythmically split the right flank that Irwin let go and started the final set, a barrage of right flames that put Sandman out of action.

This was the culmination of my MMA evangelism – I invited friends who had no experience in the sport to join the fight. Often there was a lack of adequate evaluation of the technical implementation or a surprising disappointment. That wasn’t the case when Silva Irwin knocked out. The unintentional blasphemy of the uninitiated filled my living room. Silva was someone who could understand traditional sports fans. And for him it was very special to set this display to 20 pounds of his natural weight. He was unique, and this night he proved it.

Look, Forrest, no hands..

Fault! The file name is not specified. Anderson Silva (right) beats Forrest Griffin (left) at 8. August 2009 at UFC 101 in Philadelphia by KO in the first round. Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC about Getty Images

Board of Directors Okamoto: What can a fighter do with an opponent during a match? He’s gonna let his hands go, isn’t he? Forward, towards the enemy, hands down, encourage the enemy, even try to defeat him. A fighter is sometimes seen as a semi-trailer to annoy his opponent, but this behaviour usually ends as soon as he is within reach. And there are fighters who naturally throw their hands, but that adds to their style, and they do that all the time – and again, they are very careful with the distance they cover.

When Anderson Silva was killed on the 8th. August 2009 against Forrest Griffin, he put his hands down because he knew he could do it. He knew Griffin couldn’t hurt her. He was much better than the former light heavyweight champion, he could move his hands down and finally knock him out with one blow. For me, it was a crucial moment when it came to Silva’s ability not only to beat his opponents, but also to play with them. Honestly, that night in Philadelphia is one of my favorite martial arts memories, period.

To have the last word against the all-time speakers

Fault! The file name is not specified. After losing the first four laps Anderson Silva, right, could present Bald Sonnen with a triangular choke. Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Pictures

Mark Raymondy: Anderson Silva’s time was on the brink. After a disastrous lacklustre performance against Demian Maya four months earlier, Silva was defeated in most of the five rounds by Kale Sonnen – his loudest and sharpest opponent. It was the 7th. August 2010, UFC 117. Silva was the UFC middleweight champion for four years – a brilliant champion, by the way. But his reign… seems to end. Sonnen used his skills as a fighter and sneaky boxer to dominate Silva like never before. Worse, that’s all Sonnen said he would do.

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Sonnen, perhaps the greatest garbage collector in the history of MMA, sold a lot of things and said that Silva was not as good as one thought, sometimes smart, sometimes rude. Ironically, Sonnen’s thorns helped increase Silva’s stock after that terrible battle with Maya, making Silva – and Sonnen – a legitimate pay-per-view lottery. Silva versus Sonnen was one of the hottest rivals in the history of MMA and one of the most long-awaited. And Sonnen was determined to take Silva’s momentum and title. Less than two minutes before the last lap in Auckland, California, and Sonnen was at the controls. He won every round and finished on Silva and landed with a pound on the ground. The result was predestined. Sonnen, the UFC nar, was to be the king of the middleweight division. Out of desperation Silva threw his legs to pull the suns into the triangle and strangled him. It worked. Something like that. At 3:10 in the fifth round the sun rose. Silva has reserved the right of ownership.

It is a cult moment, Silva takes victory in the last minutes of the jaws of defeat. It also defined her career and helped Silva go from a dominant champion to a mainstream star. Sonnen’s return match two years later at UFC 148 was even more important, and Silva won it in the second round of the TKO.

A turning point for the Brazilian star

Fault! The file name is not specified. Anderson Silva (right) scored an unforgettable forward victory over Vitor Belfort in 2011. James Lowe/Zuffa LLC/Getty Pictures

Ariel Helvani: So many moments to choose from. Finally, I join the incredible knockout of Vitor Belforth by Anderson Silva on UFC 126 out of 5. February 2011. The evolution of this battle seems very different. It is the past of Brazil (Belfort) that has met the present (Silva), and it seems that the country is finally treating Silva as the great company that it is.

I remember the media coverage of this fight, which is very different. The hype in Las Vegas was excellent for this, and it ended with a memorable performance at the weighh-in, where Silva posed with the jabbawockeez mask. It’s one of my favorite confrontations.

And then, of course, in the fight itself, Silva made one of the biggest knockouts in history when he landed and hit the front in the face. What a shock! What a moment!

I remember talking about it with some friends who did a report on sports in Brazil, and they said that the fight for Silva in the country was a big turning point. He then became a real hero of the Brazilian sport, and not just a great MMA, thanks to which he won and how he did it.

The Cult of the Greatest

Jeff Wagenheim: It was August 2013, just weeks after the shocking fall of Anderson Silva by UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidmann, his first defeat in 18 battles came to 7½. Silva came to New York, so we arranged an interview at Sports Illustrated headquarters. He spoke briefly about his wish for a rematch with Weidmann, but Silva soon turned the conversation around to the fight of his dreams, a boxing match with Roy Jones Jr. I like his style and movement, he said. Roy Jones and Mohammed Ali are the inspiration for my fighting style.

Anderson Silva fights on Saturday, maybe for the last time. He’s made fans so excited, but I’ll always remember a moment when *he* was in awe – in the Sports Illustrated office in New York 2013, for the exhibition of Muhammad Ali’s memorabilia. Heroes of Silva.

– Jeff Wagenheim (@jeffwagenheim) 28. October 2020.

Silva’s eyes danced when he talked about Ali. Reverend, tribute. When the interview was over, one of the editors of the magazine, who was with us in the studio, called Silva and I to follow him. He led us through the hallway to a room-high glass showcase filled with memories of the greats. Long white satin boxer dress. A pair of red Everlast gloves. The range of action programmes and the first pages of the SI with the picture of Ali’s face. A large colour print framed in one of the most iconic photographs in the history of the sport, taken in 1965 by Neil Leyfer Ali of CI, standing over the fallen Sonny Liston.

Silva stood there as if hypnotized for a few minutes and looked at the retrospective. He didn’t say a word. Maybe he couldn’t. He recorded every little thing, as if he were standing on the edge of town, in the Metropolitan Museum. Then he pulled out his smartphone and leaned forward to find a good angle for a photo.

When Silva finally spoke, he asked if he could be photographed. He posed in front of Ali’s stall, raised his thumbs and spread a smile all over his face.

There was a man who at that time was the consensus of the MMA, who immediately became a worshipper of light and stood up in a sanctuary for the hero of his childhood.

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