Is Anderson Silva the Floyd Mayweather of MMA?

Sam NassarCorrespondent IMay 2, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 08:  Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Forrest Griffin during their light heavyweight bout at UFC 101: Declaration at the Wachovia Center on August 8, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

There are many talented fighters in both boxing and Mixed Martial Arts but the truly great fighters are diamonds in the rough.  When most people think about the pugilistic sport of boxing there are a few names that all people are familiar with.  Those names are often Ali, Tyson, Holyfield, and De La Hoya but without question Floyd “Money” Mayweather is on the hunt to be considered the greatest of all time.  

On the other end of combat sports Anderson Silva has elevated himself from being less known by US fans to UFC poster boy and Middleweight champion.  Anderson in recent years has shown us that he is out to show that he is the best of all time and willing to fight against the best of the world.  When Silva is at his best he shows speed, precision, aggression, devastating knees and knockout ability.  

When we speak about the best fighters in either sport it is all about who you test yourself against.  In both cases with Mayweather and Silva they have tested themselves against the best in both sports.  On Mayweather’s side he has faced notable opponents such as: Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, Zab Judah, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley.  

With Anderson he has shut down game opponents such as:  Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt, Jeremy Horn, Carlos Newton and James Irvin.  Silva has gone on record to say he wants to go down in history as a legend of the sport who is known as the best MMA fighter of all time.  

When directly comparing Mayweather to Silva, there are several similarities that can be seen with both fighters.  Both fighters seek to be the best in their profession and want to be known as the best fighters in the world.  

Anderson and Floyd both have a relentless pace of training as well as the pace that they push in their fights.  Fighters who slug it out are often exciting but the true students of the game are precise tactical fighters.  Both champions fit into the tactical element of fighting perfectly and show it off against their opponents.


Floyd and Anderson have also shown the unique ability to fight at several different weight classes and remain successful.  In both sports changing weight can affect your balance, speed, power and endurance.  Few champions in history have mastered this ability but "The Spider" and "Money" have both risen to the challenge.

Anderson has recently been criticized for being too tentative against Thales Leites, Patrick Cote, and Demian Maia.  Despite his devastating performances with knockouts and submissions Anderson has been caught showboating and possibly letting fights last longer then they needed to.

Pretty Boy Floyd has also been the focus of criticism due to his overly defensive style of boxing.  Fans and critics have called him boring and even sometimes a coward for his style.  Floyd has had high profile wins but what fans wish to see is more of a killer instinct.  

What is painfully evident with both Mayweather and Silva is the talent, skill, hard work, and dedication to their particular crafts.  Cockiness and confidence are commonplace with many top echelon fighters and these two champions are no exception.  Floyd shows his cockiness before, during and after his fights.  Anderson is more confident mid fight with his colorful antics and movements around his opponents.  

Each of these talented men have made their presence known in their combat sports of choice what is left to see is if they will make their marks as legends, icons or simply talented fighters of the moment.