Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen I, UFC 117, 7 August 2010
Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen II, UFC 148, 7 July 2012
From 2006 to 2013, the UFC Middleweight division was dominated by one of the best MMA fighters of all time, Anderson “The Spider” Silva. He surgically and systematically destroyed every single opponent the UFC put in front of him, defending his Middleweight Title 10 successive times. He destroyed Rich Franklin with knees. He rained elbows down on Travis Lutter while having him in a triangle. He choked Dan Henderson out with a rear naked choke. He even danced his way to victory against Demian Maia. It got to a point where Anderson Silva and the Middleweight division started getting boring to watch. Anderson Silva made every single fighter in the division look like they didn’t have the talent and the training to compete.
Rich Franklin vs Anderson Silva 1 and 2, UFC 64, Oct 2006 and UFC 77, Oct 2007
Some may argue that the middleweight division is weak and lacking of talent. I believe that this lack of lustre is not because the middleweight division lacks good fighters. It’s because the division is always over-shadowed by the over-populated UFC lightweight, welterweight, and light heavyweight divisions. On top of the perception that the middleweight division is not “stacked”, the weight class has been virtually dominated by one champion since 2006, Anderson Silva. Although it is always a delight to watch Anderson Silva fight, it’s understandably not as exciting when you kind of already know what the outcome of the fight is going to be right when it is announced.
By comparison, the middleweight division may not be as exciting, but it would be a grave a mistake to over-look the division. In this post, I wanted to draw our attention back to the middleweight division by looking back at the two fights between two of the most talented middleweight fighters in MMA history: Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva.
Click and scroll for the full fight videos
The Anderson Silva Documentary – Like Water
Anderson Silva is widely considered one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. He was the UFC Middleweight King from October 2006 to July 2013. He defended his title a record 13 times. Before the UFC, Anderson Silva was the Cage Rage Middleweight Champion, a title he earned in September 2004. Anderson Silva may very well be the best middleweight MMA champion because he was the only MMA middleweight champion!
But to me, Anderson Silva is a bit of a waste of talent. He was a really good fighter in a really talent dry division. It’s a shame that now we have an almost-40 year old Anderson Silva who has suffered a devastating leg injury at the hands of Chris Weidman. We never really got to see Anderson Silva put his talent to the test and fight some MMA legends.
Click and scroll for the full documentary