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Anderson Silva

Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva was born on April 14th, 1975 in Brazil. He began his mixed martial arts training at an early age in his home country, focusing his training on Brazilian jiu jitsu and Muay Thai. Jiu Jitsu instructor Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira awarded Silva with a black belt in that martial art in 2005.

Silva began his professional fighting career from within the Mecca fighting organization in Brazil. After losing his first bout to Luiz Azeredo ‘The Spider’ went on to win nine straight matches with six of them coming thanks to a TKO or a submission. He moved on to a title match in Japan against Shooto champion Havato Sakurai, becoming the first fighter to ever defeat him and taking the middleweight Shooto title at the same time.

In 2002 Silva received an invitation to battle in the PRIDE Fighting Championships. His first PRIDE fight saw him defeat Alex Steibling after knocking him out with a high kick to the head. He quickly won his second fight against Alexander ‘The Diet Butcher’ Otsuka with a decision and was given the chance to fight Carlos Newton at PRIDE 25. Silva was able to hit Newton with a knee in his face and he quickly finished his opponent with a flurry of blows, winning his second PRIDE match with a TKO.

PRIDE 26 saw Anderson Silva’s first defeat in that league after he was upset by underdog Daiju Takase. Takase, though going in with a record of four wins and seven losses, managed to lock a triangle chock on Silva in the final round to force a submission.

Silva continued to fight with PRIDE as well as other organizations such as Cage Rage leaving behind a path of destruction and losing very few battles. With ‘The Spider’ bouncing between organizations so rapidly there was much rumor as to which league would be the next to sign him. In late April of 2006 the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced that they had signed Silva to a multi-fight contract with an expected shot at the UFC middleweight title.

In his much anticipated UFC debut at Ultimate Fight Night 5 in June of 2006, Silva was able to capitalize on his new-found fame and opportunity by knocking opponent Chris Leban with a knee to the face at only 49 seconds on the first round. UFC management quickly began to hype Silva, placing a poll on their main web site asking visitors to decide who Silva would battle next. The fans chose Rich Franklin and Silva was given his chance at the UFC middleweight title.

Silva and Franklin faced off on October 14th, 2006 at UFC 64. Franklin went into the fight undefeated in the UFC, but Silva quickly brought him under control using the Muay Thai clinch and bombarding him with knees to the body and ending the sequence by breaking Franklin’s nose with yet another knee. Silva won the fight by TKO and became only the second man in history to defeat Rich Franklin.

Silva’s first title-defense was to come on February 3rd, 2007 at UFC 67 versus Travis Lutter. Though the fight was declared a non-title bout after Lutter was unable to make the required 185 pound limit, Silva made short work at him, using his Brazilian jiu jitsu skills almost exclusively.

Silva was forced to defend his title from Nate Marquardt at UFC 73, winning the fight by TKO in the very first round.
 

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