Silva rewrote the history book during his time atop the
Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight mountain.
“The Spider” made his debut on the Brazilian regional scene in 1997
and later tested the waters in Shooto,
Pride Fighting Championships and Cage Rage before landing in
the UFC, where he became a full-blown superstar and one of the
all-time greats. Silva’s run inside the Octagon included victories
over five former UFC, Strikeforce
or Pride champions: Rich
Franklin (twice), Dan
Griffin and Vitor
Belfort. Though his reputation has taken a hit due to a
late-career collapse and a positive test for anabolic steroids, the
onetime UFC middleweight titleholder’s legacy was cemented long
As the mixed martial arts world awaits word on Silva’s next move,
here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He grew accustomed to carrying gold.
Silva remains one of 10 men who have captured the Shooto
Sakurai, Jake Shields,
Kikuchi, Shinya Aoki,
Ramos and Hernani
Perpetuo are the others—and one of two fighters, along with
Jenkins, to lay claim to the Cage Rage middleweight title.
2. His skills are known to overwhelm opponents in a
“The Spider” owns 17 first-round finishes, accounting for exactly
half of his professional total. Silva scored the fastest stoppage
of his career in his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut at UFC
Fight Night 5, where he wrecked Chris Leben
in 49 seconds on June 28, 2006. He outlanded Leben by a 17-to-1
margin in what can only be described as a massacre.
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3. A significant chunk of the record book belongs to
A statistical marvel, Silva ranks first on the UFC’s all-time list
in knockouts (11), second in knockdowns (18), third in finishes
(13), fourth in title fight victories (11), fifth in significant
strike accuracy (.599) and ninth in total wins (17). He also holds
the all-time record for consecutive victories (16) and longest
championship reign (2,457 days).
4. His devastating repertoire made him a rich
Silva has pocketed 14 post-fight bonuses in 24 UFC appearances:
seven for “Knockout of the Night,” five for “Fight of the Night”
and two for “Submission of the Night.” The result was upwards of
$750,000 of additional income for the Brazilian muay Thai
5. In his prime, consistency was a
The Sao Paulo, Brazil, native once went a remarkable seven years,
five months and 16 days between defeats. Silva was disqualified
against Yushin Okami
at Rumble on the Rock 8 on Jan. 20, 2006 and did not lose again
until he was knocked out by Chris
Weidman at UFC 162 on July 6, 2013.
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