We often forget just how good Anderson Silva actually is.
I know I do. I used to make a habit of picking against Silva. Every time "The Spider" had a new opponent, I tried to make a case for why THIS was the guy who was going to finally end the Silva myth once and for all. My memory isn't what it used to be, but I can remember picking against Silva when he faced Dan Henderson, Demian Maia and Vitor Belfort. Boy, was I wrong.
Silva is the greatest champion in UFC history, and there really isn't another belt-holder even approaching his level of excellence. There is another current champion who might someday reach and exceed the levels marked off by Silva, but we'll get into that in a few moments.
First, some Silva stats:
- Most title fight wins (10)
- Most consecutive UFC title defenses (9)
- Most consecutive wins (14)
- Highest significant strike accuracy (68.5 percent)
- Knockdowns landed (15)
An interesting takeaway from the stats: Silva has more knockdowns landed than even Chuck Liddell, the feared power-puncher who made a career of knocking people out. And when it comes to striking accuracy, only Cain Velasquez has approached Silva's lofty numbers—and in far fewer bouts, too, which makes Silva's percentage all the more impressive.
Yes, Silva is the greatest and most dominant champion in UFC history. Will anyone surpass him?
I think so, and you know who I'm going to mention: Jon Jones, the current light heavyweight champion.
Jones is in the early stages of what appears to be a long-lasting and utterly dominant title reign. He's dispatching great opponents with ease and with grace—much like Silva has done for the majority of his UFC title defenses—and he's doing it all while barely taking damage. And he's constantly evolving and improving his game, which means each consecutive opponent has more to worry about than the previous one did. That's the hallmark of a great champion.
Will Jones surpass Silva in the dominance department? Yes, he will. He's young and has a long career ahead of him, leaving him plenty of time to become the greatest fighter the sport has ever seen. But that shouldn't take away from what Anderson Silva has accomplished.