The 411 MMA Top 10 10.15.12: Top 10 Anderson Silva Fights
Hey there gentle readers, I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. This week we will be looking at Anderson Silva’s top ten fights. But first,
Thoughts from last week and other random stuff:
• Thank you to those who have started to use the new comment section. Hopefully more of you start to use it this week.
• Last week was the top ten English fighters today and some of you had issue with my including Alistair Overeem on the list. Some of you said he does describe himself as English and some of you said he doesn’t say that. So I stand by him making the list since he was born in London.
• One of you thought Paul Daley should be higher. I thought ninth was a good spot for him since he hasn’t been relevant in years, is now fighting in Bellator, is nowhere near a title shot, and he can barely make weight half the times he fights.
• So let’s look at some of the fighters you thought you should have made the list.
o Ian Freeman- he’s retired
o Che Mills- not a bad fighter but beating an old Duane Ludwig due to injury isn’t that impressive.
o Terry Etim- a good fighter but I felt the others had a slight edge over him.
Back to this week’s list
Anderson Silva fought again this weekend as he stepped up to save UFC 153. The Spider is simply the best fighter ever and he sets more records in the UFC every time he fights. Silva has defended his UFC middleweight championship ten times and has won sixteen straight times inside the octagon. It was a little tricky ranking his top fights as he usually just owns everyone he gets in the cage with. But this week’s list was based on Silva’s performance, the quality of the fight, the significance of the fight, and some personal opinion.
• Yushin Okami UFC 134: not a great fight but the Spider avenged the last loss of his career.
• Nate Marquardt UFC 73: This was Silva’s first title defense since winning the UFC middleweight championship at UFC 64. Now it’s easily forgotten in his long list of title defenses and wins but at the time Marquardt was top challenger. Marquardt has trained in boxing, muay-thai, and jiu-jitsu. Marquardt vacated his Pancrase middleweight championship when he came over to the UFC in 2005. He then won his first four fights inside the octagon to earn his title shot against Silva. It started off with some good striking exchanges but then Marquardt got dropped to the ground and soon ended there.
Vitor Belfort returned to the UFC in 2009 and gained a victory over Rich Franklin at UFC 103. Belfort was originally supposed to fight Silva for the title at UFC 108 but there was a long series of injuries to both fighters and the fight would eventually happen at UFC 126. There really wasn’t anything to talk about in this fight besides the ending. They circled each other for a bit and Belfort was able to take Silva down but they were quickly back right up to their feet. Then came the highlight reel kick to the face and the former UFC light heavyweight champion was out cold.
This was Silva’s first fight inside the octagon and he started off in impressive fashion. Chris Leben has been with the UFC since the first season of TUF and was undefeated in the organization at this point. Silva started off his UFC career really strong as he immediately showed off his powerful striking with pinpoint precision. It only took him 49 seconds to knock out the Crippler with a knee to the face.
I was hoping this fight would be a lot better but it was good for it was. The main event of this event was supposed to be Jose Aldo defending his featherweight title but he had to pull out of the event after sustaining injury while driving his motorcycle. So Silva volunteered to fight someone at 205 pounds. Stephan Bonnar came out of his unannounced retirement to fight the best ever. Much of the first round was spent up against the cage with Bonnar throwing shots at him. Some of them connected but Silva moved his head out of the way so smoothly. Then Silva kneed Bonnar in the solar plexus and he couldn’t move for the rest of the fight as Silva finished him with strikes.
This was the first big win of Anderson Silva’s career. Hayoto Sakurai was one of the top welterweights in the world at this time and held big victories over Frank Trigg and Caol Uno. Sakurai was also 18-0 when the two met in Japan. The young Anderson Silva would win the Shooto 168 lb title by unanimous decision. Silva would never defend the title but this was the fight that made people notice him. Luckily this fight was online so check it out if you’ve never seen it before. It’s fun to see him before he was completely untouchable.
Rich Franklin forced a rematch with Anderson Silva at UFC 77. Franklin lost his middleweight championship to Silva at UFC 64 and would win his next two fights to earn another a title shot. Franklin did better the second time in his home town as he was able to avoid the clinch better and take Silva down in the first round. But he got hurt at the end of it and could barely make it to his corner. Then Silva just went to town on Franklin in the second round finishing him off with some brutal knees. Franklin has been talking about a third fight with Silva but it’s not going to happen, even though Silva’s manager seemed interested in it for some reason.
This was probably Silva’s most dominate performance inside the UFC. After Silva broke the record for most consecutive wins in the UFC, it was announced that he would be moving up to light heavyweight to fight Forrest Griffin. This was Griffin’s first fight since losing the UFC light heavyweight title to Rashad Evans at UFC 92. So unlike his light heavyweight fight with James Irvin, Silva was fighting one of the top light heavyweights in the world. And Griffin got knocked out in an embarrassing fashion. Silva avoided nearly all of Griffin’s offense and mocked him while doing it. 3:23 into the first round Silva knocked out Griffin with a quick jab while moving backwards.
When Dan Henderson came over to the UFC from Pride he was the Pride middleweight and welterweight champion (205 and 185 lbs). Henderson first lost to Rampage at UFC 75 in a unification bout and then challenged Silva at UFC 82. It was thought that Henderson’s superior wrestling would make him a serious challenger but he was unable to do much when he did bring Silva down. Henderson won the first round but he was hesitant to engage with Silva’s reach in the second. Silva would drop Henderson to his back after a striking flurry in the middle of the round and then got Henderson’s back. Silva forced Henderson to tap out with a rear naked choke with only seconds left in the round.
Silva got his title shot in only his second fight in the company against then middleweight champion Rich Franklin. Franklin had a nice run with the title as he defended it twice before running into Silva. Franklin was 22-1 and undefeated in the UFC at this point. Both fighters were feeling each other out with some striking but then it was all over once Silva caught Franklin in the clinch. Franklin took a lot of knees to the body and then the face as he fell to the ground and John McCarthy ended the fight.
Chael Sonnen came closer to defeating Silva for the title more than anyone else ever has. For nearly four and a half rounds Sonnen dominated Silva from the top position. Sonnen hit Silva 320 times in this fight. No, I did not count them for myself. Then at 3:10 in the fifth round, Silva locked Sonnen in a triangle armbar to get the win. And I don’t believe the nonsense that Silva let Sonnen dominate him for four rounds so he would have an entertaining fight or that he came into the fight with injured ribs. So at UFC 117 Silva finally looked human as he suffered his greatest beatdown and then had his greatest comeback.
Their rematch from UFC 117 was one of the most anticipated fights in the history of MMA. There was nearly two years of build and trash talk leading up to this one. Sonnen was suspended for a year after UFC 117 for having elevated levels of testosterone. When he returned, Sonned defeated Brian Stann and Michael Bisping to earn another title shot. The first round was very similar to the first fight as Sonnen took down Silva almost immediately. Sonnen connected with 76 strikes but he isn’t the most powerful striker so Silva didn’t take too much damage. But one judge did score it 10-8 for Sonnen. The second round was very different as Sonnen was unable to take Silva down. Silva got out of Sonnen’s clinch and started throwing some crazy strikes. Then Sonnen went for that spinning back fist and was finished with a knee to the chest followed by strikes to the head.
• So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
• As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
• I’m still undecided on next week’s list so feel free to throw out some suggestions.
Try not to die til next week.