UFC 162 Preview: Anderson Silva and the Longest Active UFC Winning Streaks
Anderson Silva has stepped into the Octagon on 16 occasions over the past seven years. Never has he walked out of that UFC cage with a loss.
On Saturday, Silva will try to extend his unmatched winning streak with a victory over Chris Weidman. While Weidman has been on an impressive run of his own since joining the UFC middleweight division, he's still very distant from Silva's record.
Multiple UFC competitors, though, have shown signs that they could reach Silva's level of accomplishments should he slow down any time soon. Of all the active fighters on the UFC roster, these are the ones with the longest current winning streaks.
7. 6 Fighters Tied
Consecutive UFC Wins: 5
Six UFC fighters at very different stages in their respective UFC careers have currently won five straight bouts.
Interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao has risen rapidly in the 135-pound class. In his fourth UFC fight, Barao replaced an injured Dominick Cruz and defeated former WEC champion Urijah Faber to win UFC gold. More recently, Barao remained undefeated inside the Octagon and defended his belt with a submission win over Michael McDonald.
Meanwhile, Chris Weidman and T.J. Grant will look to pick up their sixth straight victories in respective title shots against Anderson Silva and Benson Henderson. An All-American wrestler with big potential, Weidman has rattled off five straight wins to start his UFC career. Grant, on the other hand, battled some adversity in the welterweight division before finding his home at lightweight and forcing his way into title contention with five straight wins.
A few up-and-comers have also put together lengthy winning streaks despite not yet joining title shot conversation.
Since losing to Nick Catone in his UFC debut, Costa Philippou has rebounded with five victories, most recently beating top-10 middleweight Tim Boetsch. After losing four of five fights in 2010 and 2011, Matt Brown was on the verge of being released from the UFC roster before getting back on track in a big way. Meanwhile, Francis Carmont has gone undefeated since joining the UFC middleweight class, but he's benefited from back-to-back controversial decision wins.
5. 2 Fighters Tied
Consecutive UFC Wins: 6
With six straight wins, Alexander Gustafsson and Johny Hendricks have emerged as the top contenders in the light heavyweight and welterweight divisions.
Since being submitted by Phil Davis, Gustafsson has become a more well-rounded fighter and most recently defeated former UFC champion Mauricio Rua with both his striking and grappling. Gustafsson will meet light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in September in his first shot at UFC gold.
After he also suffered his only MMA loss against Rick Story, Hendricks took his game to another level by knocking out the likes of Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann. In November, Hendricks will get his overdue title shot against welterweight titleholder Georges St-Pierre.
4. Benson Henderson
Consecutive UFC Wins: 7
Benson Henderson has only been on the UFC roster for about two years, but he's already gone undefeated in seven Octagon appearances.
While the lightweight champion has squeaked by with some close decision wins, he continues to find a way to win in one of MMA's most competitive divisions. Every single one of Henderson's UFC wins have gone to the judges, so he'll need to find a way to change that in order to keep his streak going without more nail biters.
In August, Henderson will look for an eighth straight win against an opponent who will be looking for a sixth in T.J. Grant.
3. Jon Jones
Consecutive UFC Wins: 9
At 25 years old, Jon Jones is already one of the most decorated fighters in UFC history, and he probably should be much closer to Anderson Silva's incredible winning streak than he currently is.
In December 2009, Jones was laying a beating on Matt Hamill before landing an illegal strike from the top position. Though he was clearly on his way to victory, Jones suffered his only MMA loss as a result of the downward elbow.
Had Jones finished off Hamill and gotten his hand raised, he'd be sitting at 13 straight wins, which would put him at second on this list of great active fighters. Still, he'll be going for double digits against Alexander Gustafsson in September, and it may only be a matter of time until he owns the record for most consecutive UFC wins.
2. Georges St-Pierre
Consecutive UFC Wins: 11
As dominant as welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has been, he still finds himself a handful of wins behind Anderson Silva in the race for the UFC record winning streak.
Previously nipping on Silva's heels, St-Pierre was likely robbed of a few extra victories when a knee injury kept him out of action for nearly 19 months. Despite that setback, St-Pierre has returned strong with two title defenses since rehabbing.
Whether St-Pierre catches Silva or not, his run as welterweight champion has been excellent and will someday earn him a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame.
1. Anderson Silva
Consecutive UFC Wins: 16
Anderson Silva's unbelievable run of wins has seen him dominate opponents in the middleweight and light heavyweight division. It's seen him submit grapplers and knockout strikers.
In the minds of many, it's made him the greatest fighter in MMA history.
For seven years as a UFC fighter, Silva has never tasted defeat. Even if he does for the first time against Chris Weidman on Saturday, Silva's record winning streak will still be difficult for anyone to match.