UFC 208 officially turned back the clocks with a win for Anderson "The Spider" Silva over Derek Brunson via unanimous decision in Saturday night's co-main event.
MMAjunkie tweeted the official scorecards:
The first round got off to a quiet start, as Brunson started with just a few leg kicks in the opening minutes; however, both fighters started opening up as the fight wore on. As Connor Ruebusch of Bloody Elbow noted, Brunson oscillated between reverence for the legend across from him and reckless abandon:
The UFC passed along a highlight of Brunson teeing off in the clinch from an interesting opening round:
The second round was relatively quiet but did feature some bursts of vintage Silva as he blitzed Brunson on a few occasions. He even offered some classic Silva dance moves in the middle of the Octagon:
It was all enough for Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting to score the round for The Spider:
The third round saw an increase in action as Brunson continued to have surprising success throwing punches in the clinch. At the same time, Silva was able to have success on the counter, making for a difficult round to score.
Ultimately, Silva did enough in the eyes of the judges to pull off the decision victory.
After the fight, the 41-year-old Silva hinted that this might be the end of the line for his legendary career, per MMA Fighting:
The win marks the first time in years that Silva was able to get his hand raised in the Octagon. Taking away a win that was overturned against Nick Diaz in 2015, Silva hasn't won a bout since beating Stephan Bonnar in 2012.
Seeing Silva at least beat Brunson was a small reminder of who Silva used to be. The former middleweight has the most dominant title reign of all time, running the division from June 2006 to July 2013, when he relinquished his title to Chris Weidman.
Since then, Silva has definitely lost a step. Losing four of his last five fights before this event, including the no-contest with Diaz.
Re-capturing the title at 185 pounds isn't necessarily on Silva's radar, though.
"I've already conquered everything, now I just want to have fun, to do what I love. I don't feel any pressure," Silva said, per Jessica Portasio of UFC.com. "I think I've already gone through all the phases of this sport. I've lost, I've won, I've got injured. Now it's about doing what I love."
Clearly that love for the sport can still manifest itself in a winning effort against a quality opponent.
Brunson is coming off a difficult loss to Robert Whittaker, but was on a five-fight win streak with four straight knockout wins (three technical) to his name prior to that. This wasn't exactly a case of the UFC feeding Silva an easy win.
The win now opens the window for more opportunities for the 41-year-old to continue fighting.
Whether he chooses to do so will be interesting to track going forward. Clearly he's lost a step, but his ability to win fights at his age really leaves it up to him for how many more fights he wants to pursue.
Either way, fans of The Spider should appreciate any time he's able to add another win to his record. With all that he's accomplished, he's not obliged to chase titles or even take fights. Anything beyond this point is simply bonus material on a lengthy career highlight reel.