The list of the UFC’s Hall-of-Fame inductees for 2023 is getting more noteworthy, to say the least. As announced during Saturday’s UFC 286 broadcast in London, joining this year’s class is former long-time middleweight champion, Anderson Silva.
After some stints in outside promotions including PRIDE, “The Spider” ascended to superstardom shortly after his UFC debut in 2006. After defeating TUF alum Chris Leben that night, he was immediately granted a title shot against Rich Franklin, whom he defeated twice in brutal fashion.
Silva won the 185-pound title after defeating Franklin and went on to have an incredibly long reign as champion, defending his belt for seven straight years. He eventually lost the belt in 2013 to Chris Weidman and never got to win it back.
Accomplishments aside, Silva was also embroiled in separate PED controversies in 2015 and 2017. The former was due to anabolic steroids, while the latter, USADA says, was only due to tainted supplements. For some, these infractions could’ve tarnished his already legendary legacy at the time.
“You fail a drug test, your whole career is in question, in my opinion. And he failed them now twice. So definitely it tarnishes his legacy,” said Weidman in a 2018 interview.
But failed drug tests notwithstanding, many in the MMA community still believe that Silva is deserving of such an accolade.
Congratulations OG and thank you for sharing your greatness with us!!! Absolutely the GOAT and one of the greatest inspirations in mma history!!! @SpiderAnderson #HOF
— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) March 18, 2023
One of the most beautiful fighters to watch in combat sports history. Pure art. Pure class ️ @SpiderAnderson https://t.co/ED89nbOvOh
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) March 18, 2023
Anderson Silva will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
If anyone was a stone cold lock for enshrinement, it was The Spider.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 18, 2023
Silva’s last UFC appearance happened in 2020 against Uriah Hall, to whom he lost via fourth-round TKO. His MMA record currently stands at 34-11 (with 1 NC) and has also picked up quality wins in boxing, including a victory over former champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. He joins fellow former champions José Aldo and Jens Pulver in the induction ceremony this July.
About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)
About the author