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Flashback – The Reign of Anderson Silva

A Review Of The Spider's Ten Legendary Title Defenses

Before Demetrious Johnson took the top spot on the list of most successful consecutive title defenses in UFC history, that record belonged to Anderson Silva. Many expected “The Spider” to keep that run going when he faced Chris Weidman at UFC 162 in 2013, but it was not to be.

The loss to Weidman did nothing to diminish the reign of Silva, though, and for proof of what an accomplishment it was to be on top for that long was, we looked at his ten title defenses for the UFC 162 event program, even getting some quotes from the men he defeated on the Brazilian superstar.

Nate Marquardt – UFC 73 – 7/7/07
Result: Silva TKO1

After the beginning of Silva’s reign was delayed by the failure of Travis Lutter to make weight for their UFC 67 fight, “The Spider” finally got his first successful defense under his belt with a Knockout of the Night win over Nate Marquardt.

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Rich Franklin – UFC 77 – 10/20/07
Result: Silva TKO2

Two title defenses, two Knockout of the Night winners, as Silva halted the man he took the belt from, Rich Franklin, at UFC 77. Said Franklin, “Anderson doesn't just win, he makes good fighters look bad.”

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EVERY UFC FINISH BY ANDERSON SILVA
EVERY UFC FINISH BY ANDERSON SILVA
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Dan Henderson – UFC 82 – 3/1/08
Result: Silva Wsub2

In a meeting of two of the sport’s greatest superstars, Silva locked horns with two division PRIDE champion Dan Henderson, and after a rough first round, the Brazilian surged ahead and submitted “Hendo” with a rear naked choke.

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Patrick Cote – UFC 90 – 10/25/08
Result: Silva TKO3

Before his UFC 90 bout with Silva, Canada’s Patrick Cote said “I’m not intimidated by him, I’m not scared of him,” but just when the fight was heating up, a knee injury resulted in a third round TKO win for the champion.

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UFC 90 Anderson Silva vs Patrick Cote
UFC 90 Anderson Silva def Patrick Cote (Photo by: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

 

 

Thales Leites – UFC 97 – 4/18/09
Result: Silva W5

It wasn’t one of Silva’s most memorable performances, but his five round unanimous decision win over countryman Thales Leites was still a dominant effort against a dangerous foe who had no answers for Silva over the course of 25 minutes in the Octagon.

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Demian Maia – UFC 112 – 4/10/10
Result: Silva W5

Expected to make short work of jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia, Silva instead got a five round struggle out of his opponent, who grew stronger as the fight went on before losing a decision to Silva. “As the fight progressed, I figured ‘There's nothing to lose anymore, I'll just go after him and try my best’ and we ended up going the distance,” said Maia.

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Anderson Silva (black/yellow) def. Demian Maia (white shorts) - Unanimous Decision during UFC 112 at Yas Island on April 10, 2010 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Anderson Silva def. Demian Maia April 10, 2010 (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

 

 

Chael Sonnen I – UFC 117 – 8/7/10
Result: Silva Wsub5

In one of the greatest fights in UFC history, Silva was stunned by the attack of Chael Sonnen, and he clearly lost the first four rounds of their bout. But Silva showed his greatness and the heart of a champion when he roared back and submitted Sonnen in the final round.

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Chael Sonnen grapples with Anderson Silva during the UFC Middleweight Championship bout at Oracle Arena on August 7, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Chael Sonnen grapples with Anderson Silva (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC)

 

 

Vitor Belfort – UFC 126 – 2/5/11
Result: Silva KO1

A lasting section of Silva’s highlight reel will be the front kick to the face that he used to knock out Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. It was a satisfying victory for Silva, but as he prepares to face Chris Weidman, Belfort will be an interested observer, saying “I am 100% sure that Anderson and Weidman will give the fans a big show during their fight.”

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Yushin Okami – UFC 134 – 8/27/11
Result: Silva TKO2

The last man to beat Silva (albeit by disqualification in 2006) was Japan’s Yushin Okami. Five years later, Silva got his revenge in emphatic fashion. "There is a unique difficulty fighting against Anderson Silva,” said Okami. “Anyone who tries to defeat him has to react to a life-size statue slipping through his devastating attacks.”

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Anderson Silva moves in for the finish against Yushin Okami after knocking him down in the UFC Middleweight Championship bout at UFC 134 at HSBC Arena on August 27, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC)
Anderson Silva moves in for the finish against Yushin Okami (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC)

 

 

Chael Sonnen II – UFC 148 – 7/7/12
Result: Silva TKO2

In July of 2012, fierce rivals Silva and Sonnen met again, and after enduring a first round similar to the first four of their initial bout, Silva ended matters in the second round, prompting Sonnen to say of their series, “He is the luckiest son of a bitch I have ever met.”