As UFC Vegas 12 approaches this weekend, the main event serves to put an end to the final chapter of Anderson Silva’s career.
The consensus greatest middleweight of all time is set to have his illustrious career’s curtain call when he takes on Uriah Hall this Saturday, knowing it will be his final fight.
After one of the greatest primes in mixed martial arts history, Silva has slipped into mediocrity as age and injury has caught up to him. That however hasn’t stopped us from remembering him for putting in some of the most memorable performances ever.
In this, I’m going to break down his three best for me to make people understand why I fell in love with MMA because of ‘The Spider’ Anderson Silva.
Anderson Silva vs Rich Franklin
UFC 64, Oct 2006
The fight where it all started. Anderson Silva’s first UFC middleweight title fight was against Rich Franklin, who at that point was 22-1 and undefeated in the UFC. On an eight-fight win streak, Franklin was seen as Silva’s first real test since signing with the company. He dismantled Chris Leben in just 49 seconds of his debut and was then placed into this bout.
He started slowly in the fight, but after about 90 seconds of putting out feelers and getting his range he turned up the pressure. Silva began exchanging with full freedom and zero worries, before reaching for the Muay-Thai clinch. As soon as he got it, he started throwing heavy knees to the body and Franklin had no answer for the grip. He tried to throw a few knees of his own and come over the top with some hooks but it wasn’t enough to prevent ‘The Spider’ from breaking his spirit.
After throwing around 20 knees to the body, Franklin could no long fight the hands and dropped his guard to prevent the body attack as much as possible. This meant that Silva threw a knee to the head that hurt him instantly. Silva followed up with strikes and two head kicks before throwing two more knees to the head, which was enough to force Franklin to the ground and for the referee to end the fight there and then.
The greatest title reign in UFC history had begun.