With an MMA career spanning nearly two and a half decades, Brazil's Anderson Silva is widely considered by many to be the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
Born in Sao Paolo and reared in Curitiba Brazil, the young Anderson dabbled in jiu jitsu training with other kids his age and would eventually begin training in striking arts such as Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai as a teenager.
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Anderson Silva would begin his professional fighting career in 1997 as a welterweight. He would win 11 of his first 12 fights and with a victory in Japan for the Shooto organization he was put up against the current champion of that organization and defeated Hayato Sakurai by unanimous decision becoming the first person to defeat Sakurai and earning the Shooto Middleweight title.
Between 2002 and 2006, Silva would find modest success in the Pride Fighting Championships and Cage Rage promotions. It wouldn't be until his UFC debut in 2006 that American audiences would get to the know the name Anderson Silva on a much larger scale.
In his debut, he was paired with Ultimate Fighter contestant and hard headed competitor Chris Leben. Silva delivered a phenomenal debut finishing Leben in 49 seconds with a flurry of strikes and a flying knee. Anderson Silva's striking accuracy was 85%.
After this performance, the UFC used a poll on their website to see who fans wanted to see him fight next. The fan response was overwhelmingly directed towards then Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin. At UFC 64 Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin would meet. It would take less than a round for Anderson Silva to tie up Franklin in the clinch and land devastating body and head strikes, breaking Franklin's nose and earning Anderson the Middleweight title in his second UFC fight.
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In his first title defense after becoming only the second man to defeat Rich Franklin for the middleweight UFC crown, Anderson Silva was slated to meet Travis Lutter who had recently won the Ultimate Fighter reality show Season 4. On the eve of the match, Lutter would fail to make the 185 pound weight limit and the match was changed to a non-title bout.
Lutter being a well-known jiu jitsu black belt, experts felt that this would be his best chance at victory. Anderson Silva would go on to win that bought via a triangle choke submission coupled with many devastating elbow strikes. Some observers felt that Anderson Silva felt disrespected because of Lutter's failure to make the agreed upon weight limit.
At UFC 73, in July of 2007, Anderson Silva would meet Nate Marquardt. The fight would not going beyond the second round with Silva winning by TKO with 10 seconds left in the first round. Later in the Fall of 2007, Anderson Silva would meet Rich Franklin for a title defense rematch at UFC 77. Franklin would again be defeated via TKO.
In early 2008, on the heels of the UFC purchasing the Pride Fighting Championships organization, Anderson Silva would be scheduled to meet Dan Henderson, the current Pride Middleweight Champion in a title unification bout. Experts gave Henderson the edge due to his Olympic level Greco-Roman wrestling background. Anderson Silva would have other plans defeating Henderson by rear-naked choke in Round 2.
For his next fight Anderson Silva would make his light heavyweight debut against James Irvin. Only a minute into the match, fans would see Anderson Silva catch a kick and deliver a straight right that would send Irvin prone to the mat. Silva would finish with a flurry of punches. It was later determined that James Irvin had multiple banned substances including methadone in his system.
Anderson Silva would draw some criticism in his next title defense against Canadian Patrick Cote. In the match, which would eventually be stopped due to a freak knee injury that Patrick Cote suffered, Anderson Silva was, according to him employing a defensive game plan and avoiding damage. This approach or change in fighting style would bring him harsh words from Dana White in his next few fights.
In fights against Thales Leites, Forrest Griffin, and Demian Maia, Silva's demeanor seemed bored and unwilling to engage. After defeating Demian Maia by unanimous decision, Dana White would walk away from the Octagon without putting the championship belt on the contender, which was a first.
In August of 2010, Anderson Silva would meet Chael Sonnen at UFC 117. Sonnen did a good job of taking the fight to the ground until the 5th round when Anderson would catch him in a triangle and force him to submit. The judges would later admit that they saw Chael winning the fight up to that point. A rematch was promised to Chael Sonnen based on this performance. He had managed to land more punches on Anderson Silva than his previous 11 opponents had combined.
After a brutal, highlight reel front kick victory against Vitor Belfort and a victory over Yushin Okami, Anderson Silva would again meet Chael Sonnen and this time finish him in Round Two via TKO.
Silva would garner 16 straight victories and the longest title defense streak in UFC history. This future UFC Hall of Famer continues to make plans for future UFC fights at the tender age of 45.
Anderson Silva Techniques
In the first video, we see Anderson Silva breaking down the Front Kick that he would use against Vitor Belfort in their match in the UFC. Word to the wise, find yourself a training partner you don't like to practice this one!
Head Control Concept
In this excerpt from his Comprehensive Strikers Guide series from Dynamic Striking, Anderson Silva outlines the power that effective opponent head control can afford you as a striker.
In this second excerpt from The Comprehensive Strikers Guide, Anderson shows how to prevent your opponent from securing the powerful and frustrating Muay Thai clinch.
Anderson Silva The Comprehensive Strikers Guide
It's finally available, from the greatest UFC champion in history. Few mixed martial artists have been able to display the power and accuracy of striking that Anderson Silva has through his entire career. Now you can learn directly from the man himself by grabbing your copy of Comprehensive Strikers Guide here or below at the link.