In his second fight with Yushin Okami, Silva came out and showed why he is widely considered the pound-for-pound greatest fighter.
Silva's career in the UFC has been a long one. 14 fights in and Silva has dominated everyone—except Chael Sonnen—with nasty results.
A lot of former champions from PRIDE and UFC are on the resume of Silva.
14 fights, only seven make this list. Which are the most significant UFC performances in the career of Anderson Silva?
This was Anderson's first fight in the UFC and what a fight it was for the UFC newcomer.
Anderson toyed with Leben in this short fight and eventually hurt Leben bad. Anderson got the knockout victory only a minute into the fight and went on to earn a title shot against Rich Franklin.
No one can claim they hurt Leben this badly. Leben has shown how strong his chin really is and the only other man to beat Leben by TKO and can claim something close to what Anderson did is Brian Stann.
Anderson vs. Vitor Belfort was a big fight. Brazilian vs. Brazilian, a big draw, two legends in Brazil.
They collided and in one swoop Anderson's front kick knocked Belfort out cold and stunned an arena full of spectators.
This helped prove even more that Anderson's striking is leaps and bounds ahead of everybody and that no matter what he throws in there, we still haven't seen everything.
This is the most recent of Anderson's fights and you could make a case for it being his most significant.
The fight was in his own backyard of Brazil, it was his first rematch against someone who has beaten him and it helped open people's eyes about him being the best mixed martial artist ever.
The first round could have gone either way with Okami and Silva pressed up against the cage for most of the first.
Then the second came and Silva was in the head of Okami and began dropping his hands which is a sign to anyone that Silva is in "Matrix Mode". Silva then dropped Okami once with a jab and the second time with a short punch and then the real fun happened.
Silva went and started blasting Okami with everything in his arsenal. Knees, punches—everything—and eventually Okami was out.
This fight coupled with Fedor's loss have turned some people to claiming Anderson is the best ever.
Silva has fought at light heavyweight twice and this one is the most significant victory and a big reason why he could be the pound-for-pound greatest of all-time.
It only took Silva one round to dispose of Forrest Griffin—a former UFC light heavyweight champion and the original Ultimate Fighter.
Silva made Forrest look like a joke and was able to bob and weave his way out of everything Forrest threw.
This fight could give people the impression that Silva could thrive in the light heavyweight division and fight some of the top guys.
But is that going to happen is the question.
Dan Henderson was considered one of the best middleweights in the world at the time of this title unification match.
Anderson came in and showcased every facet of his game, his striking, ground game—everything.
Anderson eventually choked out Henderson and became one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Anderson hasn't looked back since jumping into the minds of fans everywhere when they consider their top pound-for-pound fighters.
Plus, as you can see, Anderson used the front kick a little early. Or it could be considered a teep kick that he threw high.
Chael Sonnen exploited Anderson's one true weakness—kryptonite. Just kidding. Sonnen used his wrestling to take down Silva at will.
For almost a complete five rounds, Silva looked like he had met his match and his impressive 14 straight wins and nine-straight title defenses were coming to a close.
Not so fast, near the end of Round 5 Silva was able to wrap his legs around Sonnen and choked him out to earn one of the most improbable and greatest comeback victories the UFC has ever seen.
With this win Silva proved no matter what time in the fight, no matter who is technically winning the fight that you can't count Silva out.
Now if Silva decides to move up or somehow avoid Sonnen, his detractors will always use Sonnen as an example of why he isn't the pound-for-pound greatest fighter ever.
Would Sonnen do better and win the next time around? The world may never know if Sonnen can't get past Brian Stann this fall.
Rich Franklin, in a way, made Silva's UFC career. Silva's destruction of Franklin at UFC 64 earned him the middleweight championship that he still holds today.
The biggest thing about their UFC 64 meeting? It was only Silva's second fight in the UFC. At the time, Franklin was 22-1 in his career with his only loss coming against Lyoto Machida three years prior. Franklin was successful in his previous two title defenses against Nate Quarry and David Loiseau.
Still, Silva dominated him.
The two wouldn't meet again until UFC 77 where Franklin fought better, but still was unable to beat Silva and this time he lost in front of his hometown.
Both times Silva was able to break Franklin's nose. Both times Franklin was finished with knees.
The first fight with Franklin gave Silva the belt he won't let go of. The second fight showed that no matter how many times you may try to beat Silva, you just won't do it. Even if you're fighting in your hometown.