Jared Cannonier Beats Anderson Silva Via TKO; Spider Suffers Knee Injury

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - MAY 10: Opponents Jared Cannonier  of the United States and Anderson Silva of Brazil  face off during the UFC 237 weigh-in at Jeunesse Arena on May 10, 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Jared Cannonier added a legendary name to his resume with a first-round TKO win over Anderson Silva in the co-main event of UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro. 

Cannonier was the aggressor from the get-go as a tentative Spider looked to counter. However, a well-timed inside leg kick turned out to be Silva's undoing. His knee buckled, bringing about the end of the fight. Per ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Silva apologized to the fight crowd after his loss, saying his knee had previously been "bothering" him during camp.

The result was not well-received by the Brazilian crowd who were hoping to see a hometown hero turn back the clock and pick up a win:

Nolan King @mma_kings

Jared Cannonier getting the loudest boos I've heard in Brazil since Colby Covington beat Demian Maia. People are headed toward the exits. #UFC237

It was a response that Cannonier wasn't too happy with after scoring the biggest win of his career:

Dave Doyle @davedoylemma

"If they don't respect me I ain't got no respect for them and that's it." – Jared Cannonier with one of the great interview lines of the year.

As MMA History Today noted, this isn't the first time Silva has suffered an apparent leg injury. Silva famously lost a fight against Chris Weidman due to a gruesome leg injury and referee Herb Dean was involved in that one as well. 

MMA History Today @MMAHistoryToday

Herb Dean was also the referee when Anderson Silva shattered his leg against Chris Weidman. He wasted no time in stopping the fight today.

The win is easily the biggest of Cannonier's career. Silva is long in the tooth and a shell of what he once was, but the name should bolster Cannonier's stock as he continues to transition to the middleweight division. 

He has struggled to make an impact as both a heavyweight and a light heavyweight but is now 2-0 as a middleweight with a win over David Branch and Silva. 

For Silva, this is just the latest evidence that it may be time to hang up the gloves. The 44-year-old has done just about all there is to do in the sport and will be considered one of the greatest of all time regardless of what he chooses to do from here, but he is just 1-6 with a no-contest in his last eight fights. 

But the Brazilian seems to still love what he is doing. 

"I still have some fights in my contract," Silva said, per Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. "So [Cannonier] is one more fight, one more challenge, one more training camp that we have many things to explore with all the coaches and rediscover ourselves, find new things that we didn't imagine we could find in training, in physical preparation. I'm always learning more."

Losing fights to someone like Cannonier may be a sign that Silva's time has come, especially if the knee injury turns out to be serious. However, it's hard to deny the man has earned the right to get back in the Octagon considering his storied career.