This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 12, one of the greatest of all time said goodbye. Anderson Silva (34-11, 1 NC) headlined his final card opposite Uriah Hall (16-9) on Saturday night. The fight actually started out well for The Spider.
Silva didn’t appear to look like a fighter who was 45 years old early on. The former UFC middleweight champion actually took the first round and arguably the second round of the fight. He was aggressive and his striking looked pretty good.
He was on his way to winning the third round as well when he got caught with a glancing right to the temple. Silva went crashing to the mat and Hall almost finished the former UFC champion. However, Silva was saved by the bell.
In the fourth frame, Silva appeared to have his legs under him. However, he charged in recklessly and was caught with another shot that put him down. Hall followed up with a few shots and the referee stepped in calling a stop to the action in the fourth round.
It was a surreal scene inside the octagon. Hall was overcome with emotion as he just defeated one of his heroes. While Silva sat in the middle of the octagon seemingly reminiscing of everything he’s been through inside the cage and with the UFC.
One of the UFC’s GOATs
To me, you cannot have a conversation about the greatest to have ever competed inside the UFC without including Silva. His run in the middleweight division from 2006 to 2013 was unreal. Silva looked like a combination of Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee when he fought.
The soft spoken champion turned into a killer once the doors locked. With sniper like precision, Silva defended his UFC middleweight championship 12 times if you count the Travis Lutter fight. That fight wasn’t technically for the title since Lutter missed weight.
Only Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, and Georges St. Pierre have had runs like that inside the UFC. Once Silva lost to Chris Weidman when he was 38 years old, he was never the same again. Silva got an immediate rematch, but he broke his leg viciously in the second round at UFC 168.
Silva has hung on and competed for the last seven years, but he was never the same. He did have a PED scandal which tarnished some of his legacy. That along with all of the losses he’s racked up over the last seven years have changed the lenses when it came to the way people viewed Silva.
I will say this about he former UFC champion. When he was in his prime, he might’ve been the greatest of all time. I really believe that when you consider his overall game. I do not ultimately believe he is the greatest of all time, however, I definitely feel that his reign belongs in the conversation.