“If he wins Saturday, does Anderson Silva become the greatest champion this organization has ever seen?” That question was recently put forth to Dana White by a reporter at the UFC 97 press conference.
Dana White, with Chuck Liddell present, said, “Yeah, I think he does. In fact, I think he is going for a couple of records too.”
The records in question involve breaking one and tying another.
If Silva does what most people think he will, in his fight with Thales Leites, he will pick up his ninth straight UFC win. He currently shares the record of eight straight with UFC pioneer Royce Gracie and current welterweight stud Jon Fitch.
In the process of winning, Silva will also tie another significant record, that being five consecutive title defenses. The record is currently held by future Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell. Fittingly, Liddell will be in attendance should Silva tie the record.
It is a bit surprising that more people aren’t making a bigger deal about this potential milestone.
What may also be surprising to some is the manner in which Dana White so easily gave away the title “greatest champion ever” especially with one of the best champions ever in the room.
It is hard to not be impressed by what Silva has accomplished inside the octagon thus far. However, history is usually the best judge in rendering the verdict of who the best ever is.
While it is nearly impossible to imagine Silva falling off the pine anytime soon, the fates of men are not set in stone. After Saturday night, what if Silva, like Liddell, were to lose three out of his next four? Would Dana White then retract his previous statement?
While that sounds outlandish, what seems impossible can and often does play out. Most fans of the sport would be hard pressed to say they fully saw Matt Hughes or Wanderlei Silva crashing and burning as hard as they have.
So will Anderson Silva be the greatest champion after beating Thales Leites? Dana White seems to think so, although I am sure Chuck Liddell might have something to say about that.
Perhaps they will settle that question in the octagon before it’s all said and done.