Anderson Silva and the Longest Winning Streaks in UFC History
It’s no secret to any UFC fans that fighters have to win to keep their job. With the majority of the best Mixed Martial Artists in the world residing in the UFC, there is never an easy fight. Win three in a row, and you've got a great case for a title shot. Lose three in a row, and you might as well pack your bags.
That's what makes the fighters on this list so special. These men continued to win while facing the stiffest competition the fight game had to offer.
Here are the fighters with the longest consecutive win streaks in UFC History.
Chuck Liddell: 7 Consecutive Wins ('99 - '02) ('04 - '06)
There are other fighters with seven consecutive victories inside the octagon, including Randy The Natural Couture, Rich Ace Franklin and current UFC Heavyweight Champ, Cain Velasquez, but Chuck Liddell got to seven consecutive victories two separate times.
The first started in 1999 at UFC 22 when The Iceman TKO'd Paul Jones in the first round. Five more wins in the UFC would follow before Liddell met up with The Phenom Vitor Belfort in June, 2002 at UFC 37.5. The fight unexpectedly went to a decision, which Liddell won unanimously. Up next was Renato Babalu Sobral at UFC 40. Lidell won with a absolutely vicious head kick in the first round. Then he faced Randy Couture at UFC 43 for the Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Title. During the fight, Couture took Chuck down to the mat as he pleased, and in the third round the ref stopped the fight due to ground and pound from The Natural. After the loss Chuck entered the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix, where he lost in the second round to Quinton Rampage Jackson.
Chuck returned to the UFC for the much anticipated fight with Tito Ortiz in April, 2004 at UFC 47. Tito had been ducking Chuck the entire time he was the UFC Light Heavyweight Champ. He had nowhere to hide inside the cage as Chuck connected with a flurry of punches to start the second round. The ref stopped the fight just 38 seconds into the second round, giving the TKO victory to Chuck Liddell.
Liddell picked up another win before his rematch with Randy Couture for the Light Heavyweight Title at UFC 52. Chuck knocked out Couture in the first round to become the Light Heavyweight champ. He also became the first person to knock out Randy Couture. A rematch with Jeremy Horn at UFC 54 was next for Liddell. Liddell avenged his loss to Horn with a fourth round TKO.
Next it was on to UFC 57, and the rubber match with Randy Couture. After a fairly even first round, Chuck was able to land a big counter left hook in the second round that dropped Couture. To this day, Randy Couture has only been knocked out twice; both times by Chuck Liddell. More rematches were on the horizon for Chuck Liddell. The first was against Renato Sobral at UFC 62. Liddell scored the TKO victory over Babalu in under two minutes.
The next rematch was with Tito Ortiz at UFC 66. Chuck tore his MCL before the fight, but chose not to pull out of the fight. He would knock Tito out again; this time in the third round. Liddell had avenged his his losses to Horn and Couture, but still needed to avenge his loss to Rampage Jackson. The rematch with Rampage would take place at UFC 71. During the fight, Rampage caught Chuck with a counter right hook. Chuck went down. Jackson pounced on him. The ref stopped the fight. TKO victory for Rampage.
Chuck Liddell would never be the same after the second loss to Rampage. He would go on to lose four of his next five fights, including three by knockout.
Lyoto Machida: 8 Consecutive Wins ('07 - '09)
A black belt in Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Lyoto The Dragon Machida utilized his karate counter-striking and evasiveness on his way to eight consecutive victories (seven in a lot of people's opinions, including mine, but we'll get to that in a minute) inside the Octagon. He made his UFC debut in early 2007 at UFC 67, where he earned a unanimous decision victory over Sam Hoger.
He followed the win over Hoger with two more unanimous decision victories before he faced Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at UFC79. Machida didn't let the fight go to the judes as he finished Sokoudjou with an arm triangle choke in the second round. He defeated Tito Ortiz (Unanimous Decision) and Thiago Silva (KO with a second left in the first round) to earn a shot against UFC Light Heavyweight Champ, Rashad Evans, at UFC 98. Two things stick out to me from that fight.
First, Evans just did not figure out how to attack Machida. Evans just couldn't hit him.
Second, Rashad ran his mouth while Machida was moving in on him, and Machida ultimately shut Rashad up with some vicious striking. Your new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Lyoto The Dragon Machida.
Right after Machida won the belt from Evans, UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan exclaimed, "Welcome to the Machida Era." Well, it didn't last very long. Like I eluded to earlier, a lot of people, including myself, believe the Machida Era ended when The Dragon faced off with Mauricio Shogun Rua at UFC 104.
Shogun landed twice as many strikes throughout the fight, and he seemed to win at least three of the five rounds, but the unanimous decision victory went to Machida. The controversy surrounding the decision led to a rematch between the two. This time it was Rua that did not leave the decision in the judges hands as he turned out Machida's lights in the first round with a big overhand right.
Gray Maynard: 8 Consecutive Wins ('07 - '10)
The most exciting interview in mixed martial arts!…or..not. GrayThe Bully Maynard may have the personality of a Chia pet, but the Ultimate Fighter Alum is one tough dude inside the Octagon. From 2007 to 2010 he rattled off eight consecutive victories.
Maynard started his win streak in blistering fashion as he knocked out Joe Veres in nine seconds at UFC Fight Night: Din Thomas vs. Kenny Florian. After his quick work of Veres The Bully met up with Dennis Siver (who recently stopped George Sotiropolous' seven-fight UFC win streak at UFC 127) at UFC Fight Night 12. Maynard earned a unanimous decision victory over Siver.
Up next was UFC Fight Night 13, where Maynard faced Frankie Edgar. Maynard earned another unanimous decision victory, and to date is the only man to defeat the current UFC Lightweight Champ, Frankie Edgar.
At UFC 90, Maynard defeated Rich Clementi by unanimous decision. Then he defeated Jim Miller at UFC 96, by... you guessed it, unanimous decision. Maynard was a three-time All-American wrestler, and teammate of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champ, Rashad Evans, at Michigan State. He used that great wrestling ability to control those fights. As you can see, that style led to a lot of decision victories for Gray.
Split decision victories against Roger Huerta (UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs. Guillard) and Nate Diaz (UFC Fight Night: Maynard vs. Diaz) followed. The Diaz fight was interesting, in that it seemed like Diaz seemed to get in to the head of Maynard with his trash talk and taunts during the fight. Maynard refused to use his wresting to try to control the fight, instead opting to keep it standing.
The fight was extremely close. The victory set Maynard up with with a match against Kenny Florian to determine the No. 1 contender for the Lightweight title. The Bully lived up to his name as he controlled the whole fight with his wrestling, earning a unanimous decision victory and a shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship held by Frankie Edgar.
The rematch with Edgar would take place at UFC 125. Maynard mauled Edgar the entire first round, but could not put him away. The champion would miraculously come back to take a few rounds before the fight ended in a split decision draw. The rematch is scheduled for UFC 130 in May.
So, the win streak for Gray ended at eight, but he still has a nine fight unbeaten streak in the UFC.
Chi Chi Chi Chia!!
Jon Fitch: 8 Consecutive Wins ('05 - '08)
A former wrestler from Purdue University comes in next. Jon Fitch also scored eight consecutive wins in the UFC. The long time welterweight actually made his UFC debut at middleweight when he defeated Brock Larson via unanimous decision at Ultimate Fight Night 2.
Fitch would drop to welterweight at Ultimate Fight Night 4 where he would face Josh Burkman. Fitch sunk in a rear naked choke just before the end of round two to defeat Burkman. Up next would be The Pitbull Thiago Alves, at Ultimate Fight Night 5. Fitch caught Alves with an upkick to the head and finished him off with punches in the second round.
Fitch followed up the Alves TKO with three victories over Kuniyoshi Hironaka (UFC 64), Luigi Fioravanti (UFC 68) and Roan Carneiro (UFC Fight Night: Stout vs. Fisher). Up next was Diego Nightmare Sanchez at UFC 76. Fitch and Sanchez went back and forth in a fight that Fitch won by split decision. After defeating Chris Wilson via unanimous decision at UFC 82, it was announced that Fitch would challenge the winner of Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Serra, for the UFC Welterweight title.
St. Pierre defeated Serra and took on Fitch at UFC 87. Fitch didn't look to be in the same league as St. Pierre as GSP dominated him for all five rounds, oh his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Royce Gracie: 8 Consecutive Wins ('93 - '94)
Royce Gracie fought in a different era than today’s fighters. He recorded eight consecutive wins from UFC 1 through UFC 3, although some would say he had eleven consecutive wins from UFC 1 through UFC 4, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
UFC 1 was a one-day, open-weight, eight-man MMA tournament. There was no limit of rounds, and fights only ended in knockout or submission. Basically, anything goes. It brought fighters of many different disciplines together. Boxers, wrestlers, shootfighters, karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. Gracie is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master. At that time, no one had seen Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, let alone practiced it.
In his first match at UFC 1, Gracie defeated boxer Art Jimmerson by submission when he mounted Jimmerson and pinned his arm behind him. Jimmerson had no idea how to get out of that position, and he was forced to submit. In the next round, Gracie submitted Ken Shamrock with a rear naked choke. In the finals he defeated Gerard Gordeau, when Gordeau submitted due to a rear naked choke. Gracie won three consecutive fights in one day to win the tournament.
Four months later came UFC 2. This time it was a 16-man tournament, also completed in one day. In the first round of the tournament, Gracie defeated Minoki Ichihara by submission, using a collar choke. Gracie submitted both Jason DeLucia (armlock) and Remco Pardoel (Lapel Choke) in just over a minute each, to earn a spot in the finals against the 250 pound kickboxer, Patrick Smith. Gracie forced Smith to submit due to strikes in just over a minute. Again, the 170-pound Gracie forced the 250 pound kickboxer, Smith to submit due to strikes in just over a minute. That’s four consecutive wins in one day to again, win the tournament.
The UFC went back to an eight-man tournament with UFC 3. Gracie would be matched up with the 260 pound, Kimo Leopoldo. In a classic, grueling fight Gracie was able to defeat Kimo via submission due to an armbar. After the fight Gracie was forced to withdraw from the rest of the tournament due to exhaustion. So, since he could not continue, the win streak technically stopped there. Keep in mind that these tournaments were all completed in the same day, unlike tournaments today that are spread out over months.
Three months later, Gracie came back for UFC 4. He submitted all three of his opponents (Ron Van Clief, Keith Hackney and Dan Severn) to win the tournament, and push his record to 11-0. His next fight at UFC 5 versus Ken Shamrock resulted in a draw due to No Judges. Gracie and Shamrock fought for 36 straight minutes without a decision.
However you look at it (Eight or Eleven Consecutive Wins) Royce Gracie is THE legend of the UFC. He’s the reason fighters started cross-training different disciplines.
A 170-pound man making 250-pound men tap out. It’s hard to imagine that happening today. If there is any 170 pounder that could do it, it would be…
Georges St. Pierre: 8 Consecutive Wins ('07 - Present)
Georges Rush St. Pierre, arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today is currently on a eight-fight win streak. After losing his welterweight title in a jaw-dropping upset to Matt Serra at UFC 69, an extremely motivated GSP would face Josh Koscheck at UFC 74. Koscheck had a very decorated collegiate wrestling career, but was outwrestled by GSP throughout the match. GSP won by unanimous decision. After the decision was announced, GSP made a championship belt sign around his waist, confirming the one thing on his mind after the fight was getting his belt back.
Matt Hughes was scheduled to face Serra for the welterweight title at UFC 79, but Serra puled out of that fight due to injury. The UFC put St. Pierre in the fight vs. Hughes, and made it for the interim welterweight title. This was the third match between the two, and GSP dominated the Hall-of-Famer with his wrestling. He took Hughes down at will and punished him for the majority of the fight. He finished him off with an armbar. Hughes submitted with just five seconds left in the second round. He won the interim title, but it was the belt around Serra’s waist that he was after.
He met Serra at UFC 83 for the undisputed welterweight championship. UFC 83 was held in St. Pierre’s backyard, Monteal, Quebec Canada. The pro-GSP crowd was absolutely insane. St. Pierre destroyed Serra. The ref stopped the fight in the second round as Serra could no longer defend himself from the ferocious knees GSP was delivering to his body.
St. Pierre’s first title defense was against Jon Fitch at UFC 87. Fitch was riding his own eight-fight win streak. Again, GSP dominated a highly regarded wrestler. Fitch looked out of his league as GSP took him down whenever he pleased. On the feet GSP battered and bloodied Fitch. All three judges gave all five rounds to GSP, with each giving at least one 10-8 round to GSP. Total Domination.
Up next was a highly anticipated rematch with the then UFC Lightweight Champion, BJ Penn, at UFC 94. After a close first round, the rest of the fight was all GSP. Penn has some of the best takedown defense in MMA, but he could not stop GSP from taking him down after the first round. Penn looked to be gassed in the third and fourth round. His corner threw in the towel before the start of the fifth round.
UFC 100 and a match with the most dangerous striker St. Pierre had faced, Thiago Alves, was up next. Alves had just steamrolled through Matt Hughes and defeated Josh Koscheck, but he’d have no suck luck versus GSP. St. Pierre controlled where the fight took place, and seemed to cruise to a unanimous decision victory despite injuring his groin in the third round. Another dangerous striker, Dan Hardy, was next at UFC 111. Just like Jon Fitch at UFC 87, Hardy looked out of his league against GSP. St. Pierre again controlled the entire fight with his wrestling. He tried a couple submissions, but could not finish Hardy. He won by unanimous decision.
A rematch with Josh Koscheck at UFC 124 was next. This fight was different from St. Pierre’s recent fights, even the first fight with Koscheck. GSP did not rely much on his wrestling. Instead he chose to keep the fight standing and just peppered Koscheck’s face with jabs throughout the fight. Koscheck’s orbital bone was broken at some point during the fight. Another title defense totally dominated by GSP, this time on the feet. Eight consecutive wins and counting. Good Luck to Jake Shields at UFC 129.
There may be only one possible opponent who could put a stop to that win streak…
Anderson Silva: 13 Consecutive Wins (’06 – Present)
Anderson "The Spider" Silva, arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today is currently on a thirteen-fight win streak. Yes, THIRTEEN straight victories.Silva made his UFC debut in 2006 at Ultimate Fight Night 5 against Ultimate Fighter Alum, Chris Leben. Silva KO'd Leben in 49 seconds. Quite a debut.
Rich Franklin and a shot at the UFC Middleweight title was next at UFC 64. During the fight, Franklin had trouble getting out of Silva's Muay Thai-clinch. Silva delivered some sick knees to Franklin's head and knocked him out in the first round.
Silva defeated Travis Lutter via triangle choke and Nate Marquardt via TKO, before a rematch with Franklin at UFC 77. Franklin was determined to avoid and defend the Muay Thai-clinch in the rematch, but the fight was very similar to the first, with Silva utilizing the clinch and knocking Franklin out with knees to the head.
Next was Pride 185-pound champion, Dan Henderson, at UFC 82. After a very good first round from Henderson, Silva was able to take Dan's back in the second round and sink in the rear naked choke for the submission victory.
After going through much of what the UFC Middleweight division had to offer, Silva moved up to Lightheavyweight at UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Irvin. He knocked James Irvin out a minute in to the first round. Silva moved back to middleweight at UFC 90 to defend his middleweight title against Patrick Cote. The fight was stopped in the third round due to a knee injury to Cote.
Silva broke the record for consecutive victories with his ninth against Thales Leites at UFC 97. The crowd booed for much of the fight as Silva danced around with his arms down, slapping Leites, basically daring him to charge in and hit him. Silva went back up to lightheavyweight to face former UFC Lightheavyweight champ, Forrest Griffin at UFC 101. Griffin had no answers for Silva on the feet, as he swung and missed numerous times. Silva knocked him down with counter-strikes a few times. Griffin seemed to give up after getting knocked down the last time, then ran out of the cage.
Silva broke the record for most consecutive title defenses (six) against Demian Maia at UFC 112. The crowd was again upset with Silva, as he mocked Demian Maia through out the fight. He proceeded dance around shaking his but in Maia's direction. It was such a disgusting display that UFC President Dana White left his ringside seat during the fourth round. Silva gained the unanimous decision victory. His eleventh straight victory in the UFC.
Chael Sonnen was next at UFC 117. Sonnen promised to grind Silva in to dust, and he did just that for four and a half rounds. Then he got caught with a triangle choke from Silva and was forced to tap in the middle of the fifth round. After the fight, it was reported that Silva had a very bad rib injury, and was advised by doctors to withdraw from the fight.
Silva picked up his 13th straight victory against Vitor Belfort last month at UFC 126 with a Steven Segal front kick that knocked out Belfort in the first round. Up next? Maybe Georges St. Pierre. Maybe another move to lightheavyweight.