Off the back of UFC Fight Night 181, the legend, Anderson Silva competed for the last time in the UFC and potentially in MMA for good. Suffering a knockout defeat to Uriah Hall, Silva certainly didn’t go out the way he wanted. His career has taken a downward trajectory in recent years but let’s not forget the phenomenal career he has had.
We at MMASucka discuss what we believe was Silva’s greatest performance in homage to one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the octagon.
For me, there was only one main contender for Silva’s greatest performance. Before we go any further, however, I’ve got to mention his most exciting performance. London, 2016 against Michael Bisping. The fight was action-packed fight for the full 25 minutes it lasted. Full of strange goings-on (Silva thinking that the fight had finished but it was just the end of the round), the fight lived up to the hype.
Right, onto Anderson Silva’s greatest performance. Forest Griffin at UFC 101. The fight saw ‘The Spider’ and reigning middleweight champion, Anderson Silva step up in weight to 205lbs to take on the former light heavyweight champion, Forrest Griffin. What played out was truly insane.
After feeling Griffin out for the first 90 seconds, Silva rushed him, stepped back and followed up with a right hand, dropping Griffin. Remember, Silva is the smaller man in this one. Silva began beckoning Griffin on, which saw the beginning of the end. He slipped a three punch combination and dropped the American with a sweet left straight. The end came after Silva measured distance spectacularly to avoid two punches and land a counter right, seemingly with no power behind it.
Why is this his greatest performance? It’s simple, the ease in which he finished a world-class opponent who everyone thought ould provide him with difficulties. Effortless, effective greatness at UFC 101.
I think there are a couple of ways to dissect this question. If we’re talking about the fight in which Anderson Silva looked the best, the answer to that is Forrest Griffin for me. That’s just a masterclass to go back and watch.
On the other hand, if we’re talking about Silva’s best win, the answer there would be Dan Henderson. While Silva’s list of names on his resume leaves a little to be desired, that’s not the case with Dan Henderson. One of the most underrated fighters of all time, in my opinion, Henderson is a great name that Silva added to the list early in his UFC career. And finally, in terms of the best moment in Silva’s career, I’d go with his front kick KO of Vitor Belfort. That knockout will make UFC highlight reels forever.
It took 22 fights for the spider to set foot inside the Octagon. In just his second fight the Brazilian fought for middleweight gold. We all knew he was good coming in, but it was that title fight against Rich Franklin that set him apart from the rest of the pack. He picked his shots to get to the inside. That was the first time I had seen the Thai clinch used with such precision. Anderson Silva made the teacher look like a student.
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