Before I go any further, let me state for the record that both of Anderson Silva’s performances against Rich Franklin deserve to be on this list. However, I decided to only include their rematch in order to make room for the fights that were covered earlier.
The main reasons why I chose the rematch over their first encounter is because Franklin came much better prepared second time around, while the combination that finished the fight is amongst the most beautiful one is ever likely to witness.
Bolstered by a partisan Cincinnati crowd, Rich Franklin appeared utterly determined to not disappoint those in attendance.
Yet despite the former middleweight champion’s best efforts, he could do little to stifle Silva’s unsurpassed offensive game. The sheer variety with which he was threatened would have been enough to reduce most men to a quivering wreck.
On this particular night, Anderson Silva taught the former high school teacher a lesson—one could argue that he taught him the entire syllabus over the course of the eight minute masterclass.
Many things make this fight special, but the sequence of strikes that ended Franklin’s evening is what most remember.
Midway through the second round, Silva backed the challenger up against the cage and unleashed a combination of strikes to the head, body and legs that overwhelmed Franklin.
It was violently poetic, boasting the kind of barbaric beauty we so rarely get the pleasure of seeing. No matter what happens to the sport in future, this performance will remain timeless.