Anderson Silva made his UFC debut with a 43-second shellacking of Chris Leben at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 5. A few months later, he walked out of the Octagon in Las Vegas, Nev. as the UFC middleweight champion.
Silva had a professional record of 18-4 when he faced UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin at UFC 77 in October 2006. Franklin had won the title when he defeated Evan Tanner in June 2005. His fight against Silva was his third attempted defense of the title. Franklin had previously defended the title by defeating Nate Quarry and David Loiseau.
Franklin was 22-1-0-1 when he entered the Octagon to face Silva. Franklin was, without a doubt, the crowd favorite entering the arena that night in Vegas. He was also favored in the eyes of the oddsmakers, via MMAmania.com, as he entered at minus-185 to Silva’s plus-165.
When the fight began, Silva was fluid in his motions and wasted very little time working knees to the body from the clinch. The strikes were very effective, and in short order Silva had Franklin lowering his hands to his reddening torso to block the blows.
As soon as Franklin dropped his hands, Silva went upstairs and delivered a knee to the chin of his opponent. That gave Franklin something to think about, should he protect his midsection or protect his head?
Franklin didn’t have much time to ponder that question. Shortly after planting that seed in Franklin’s head Silva planted a knee directly on his nose. He followed that with a kick to the head and another knee to the head, and that was the end of the night for Franklin.
Just 2:59 after the fight began, the UFC had a new middleweight champion and Franklin had a new angle to his nose. After Franklin was back to his feet, Bruce Buffer announced “and now the new UFC middleweight champion of the world, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva.”
Since that night, Buffer has only announced the finish of Silva’s middleweight bouts with the phrase “and still UFC middleweight champion of the world.” That announcement has been made a UFC record 10 consecutive times.
Will Silva make it 11 at UFC 162 or will we finally hear the words “and new UFC middleweight champion of the world” again? We’ll find out on July 6 when Silva attempts to defend his title against top-ranked Chris Weidman.