UFC 162: Looking back at Anderson Silva’s 10 title defenses

UFC Middleweight Anderson Silva is 16-0 in the UFC with 10 of those wins being title defenses. He'll put his belt on the line…

By: Nate Wilcox | 10 years ago
UFC 162: Looking back at Anderson Silva’s 10 title defenses
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

UFC Middleweight Anderson Silva is 16-0 in the UFC with 10 of those wins being title defenses. He’ll put his belt on the line again at UFC 162 on July 6 against Chris Weidman.

UFC.com has a look back at each of his 10 title defenses. Here are some highlights:

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

Dan Henderson – UFC 82 – 3/1/08
Result: Silva Wsub2
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva lost the first round to PRIDE 183-pound title holder Dan Henderson in their UFC 82 title unification bout, but in round two, Silva turned up the heat and finished Henderson with a rear naked choke to make it game over and another victory for the most dominant fighter in the sport.

The opening seconds were tense as Henderson moved forward behind probing kicks to the leg. Silva fired back with a leg kick of his own 70 seconds into the bout, but a brief follow-up exchange produced no fireworks. As the bout approached the three minute mark, Silva was trying to work his kicks, but it was Henderson who broke the ice scoring wise with a takedown. Silva did his best to keep Henderson tied up as the Californian fired off a series of hammerfists at close range, and with under 30 seconds left Henderson briefly got into side control before ending up in Silva’s guard by round’s end.

Silva came out with more urgency in the second round, firing off kicks that Henderson was able to brush off with little difficulty. Henderson fired back with some haymakers, but while Silva waved his foe on, the close exchanges allowed Henderson to grab hold of ‘The Spider’ and tie him up against the fence. Once the two separated, Henderson landed with a couple of hard strikes, but Silva responded with a right knee to the head that appeared to jar ‘Hendo’. Henderson looked for the takedown, but Silva jumped into the top position and tried to land a finisher. As the round entered its final two minutes, Henderson’s head was clear, but Silva was actively working, and with under a minute to go, the UFC champion got his foe’s back and sunk in a rear naked choke. Henderson valiantly tried to fight it off and make it to the end of the round, but at the 4:52 mark he was forced to tap out.

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

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

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

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

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

Vitor Belfort – UFC 126 – 2/5/11
Result: Silva KO1
Vitor Belfort was widely considered to be the most dangerous threat to Anderson Silva’s middleweight title reign. So Silva did what you’re supposed to do to such threats – he eliminated him immediately, knocking out Belfort in the first round to retain his crown for the eighth time Saturday night in the UFC 126 main event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. In the process, Silva broke a tie with Matt Hughes for most successful title defenses in UFC history.

“That’s just one of the tricks I was working on,” said Silva, who, for all intents and purposes, ended the bout with a spectacular front kick to the chin.

The chants of “Vitor, Vitor” came from the rafters as soon as referee Mario Yamasaki called the two fighters to battle, but there would be no initial fireworks, as the two cautiously circled each other for the first 90 seconds until Belfort landed a range-finding leg kick. At the midway point, with still no meaningful action, Silva began showboating, with Belfort finally firing off a 1-2. Moments later, Belfort caught a Silva kick and the two tumbled to the mat. They rose quickly, and Silva, significantly warmed up, eluded a Belfort haymaker and came back with a blistering left front kick to the chin that dropped “The Phenom.” Quickly moving in, Silva landed a 1-2 on his prone foe, and that was enough for Yamasaki to call a halt to the bout as the 3:25 mark.

“He caught me with a great kick,” said Belfort. “Anderson Silva is a great fighter. I’ll be back.”

With the win, Silva improves to 28-4; Belfort falls to 19-9.

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

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

Note that this list doesn’t include his UFC 67 non-title win over Travis Lutter, the Ultimate Fighter winner who missed weight and blew his title shot. Nor does it include Silva’s ventures into the Light Heavyweight division where he trounced James Irvin, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar.

Note the long, depressing trough Silva was mired for two years from 2008 to 2010. Lackluster defenses against unworthy opponents like Patrick Cote, Thales Leites and Demian Maia had cost Silva huge amounts of fan support and had Dana White questioning his desire to fight for the fans.

Since coming back to beat Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 no one can question Silva’s performance.

Read the rest at UFC.com

SBN coverage of UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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