Anderson da Silva, also known as The Spider, is a Brazilian MMA fighter, currently participating in
UFC out of Los Angeles, California. He has remained an UFC middleweight champion and holds the
record of the longest title reign in the history of UFC at 2,457 days. His reign started in 2006 and
ended in 2013 with 16 consecutive victories in between. He has been referred to as the greatest
professional MMA fighter of all time by multiple experts at many times, including UFC president
Early Life and Career
Born in poverty-stricken situations in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Anderson Silva’s first introduction to martial
arts was in the streets of his neighbourhood training jiu-jitsu with other kids. But soon he also got
into taekwondo, capoeira and Muay Thai.
Anderson Silva started out his MMA career in Brazil itself, in the welterweight category, in 1997.
There he had a nine-fight winning streak, after which he went to Japan. He fought the then Shooto
champion Hayato Sakurai there, who was till then unbeaten in 20 fights. He became the first man to
beat Sakurai and claimed the Shooto Middleweight Championship.
From 2002 to 2006, he fought at the Japanese promotion Pride and the Cage Rage promotion in
England, before competing in Hawaii’s Rumble on the Rock promotion.
Career at UFC
After going around so many places, he finally signed at UFC in 2006 where he debuted against Chris
Leben at Ultimate Fight Night. Being unknown of Silva’s calibre, Leben, who was then on a five-win
streak, claimed that he would knockout Silva in a pre-fight interview. But Anderson Silva snatched a
victory with KO 49 seconds within the first round.
After this, UFC conducted a poll for the viewers to choose Silva’s next opponent, and it came down
to Rich Franklin whom he defeated by TKO once again at 3 minutes. Silva was crowned the new UFC
Middleweight champion, becoming only the second man to defeat Franklin. Over the next 6 years,
he kept on successfully defending the title against Travis Lutter, Nate Marquardt, Rich Franklin
(again), Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote, Demian Maia and others. He lost the title to Chris Weidman
finally in 2013 at UFC 162.
In between 2016 and 2018, he has been caught with drug abuse controversies. His bout with Kevin
Gastelum in 2017 was cancelled on the grounds of him failing USADA drug test. But he has been
exonerated and free to resume fighting since November, 2018.
Despite all the calls for his retirement post his reign, Anderson Silva has continued to fight at MMA
and plans to do so. His next fight is against Israel Adesanya on February 10, 2019 at UFC 234. His
current record stands at 34-8. He has also appeared in multiple movies and TV shows.