In the last 18 months, we've seen Fedor Emelianenko's mystique vanish and Georges St-Pierre has bored us for the fourth fight in a row.
It's been open "dethrone royalty" season for every fan favourite in the sport... well, almost.
Anderson "The Spider" Silva has continued to fight the best challengers and he keeps dropping our jaws—and nearly breaking Vitor Belfort's.
On most analysts' charts, Silva is currently the pound-for-pound best MMA fighter in history. And it is nearly impossible to argue otherwise.
Recently, he turned the lights out on the frighteningly resurrected career of Belfort. Before that, he embarrassed Forrest Griffin. And let us not forget the facial reconstruction on Rich Franklin.
Silva has dominated every single opponent since entering the Octagon—except one.
Chael Sonnen gave Silva the biggest workout and scare of his UFC career—by a long shot.
Although, post-fight, Sonnen's face was the bumpier of the two, Silva was well behind on all four-and-a-half rounds before a "lucky" choke saved his belt.
Up until that moment, Sonnen came at Silva relentlessly. He ate a lot, but he fed Silva more.
Silva could get no comfortable rhythm and never dictated either the pace, ring space or style of the match.
It was the only fight in his UFC run where he looked like he was in a fight.
No one has ever managed to make Silva look uncomfortable and reactionary.
There is no greater fighter in UFC or MMA history than Silva. And there has been no single fight in Silva's career in which he was dominated for four-plus rounds.
Name me a better fight than Sonnen vs. Silva 2.
There is none.