Fighter Profile: Anderson Silva
Nickname: The Spider
Height: 5’11 (180 cm)
Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
Division: Middleweight (171-185 lbs)
Hometown: Curitiba. Brazil
Professional Record: 19 – 4 – 0 (Win – Loss – Draw)
Training Camp: Muy Thai Dream Team.
Anderson Silva, the soft spoken son of a police officer and father of four, made his professional fighting debut more than seven years ago, at the fi rst big Vale Tudo event of Brazil, the Meca World Vale Tudo.
Although he made a valiant effort against the skilled Luiz Azeredo, Silva lost the fight by decision. His lack of grappling skills cost him the victory against the BJJ black belt. Silva came back with an amazing streak of nine consecutive wins, mostly by KO on the way to becoming the Meca World Vale Tudo Middleweight Champion.
At Meca VI, Anderson began to show why he is a special fighter. In his fight with Roan Jucao “The Spider” shocked the world as he swept Jucao from the closed guard with a sweep I had never seen before, despite nearly a half-century of experience in BJJ and MMA. Silva secured the closed guard with his legs, forming the fi gure four. Suddenly, he grabbed his foot and brought it inside of Roan’s thigh. Using the foot as a hook, he swept Roan to the mount, and immediately finished the fight with strikes. The technique required flexibility, confidence, and precise timing.
Silva’s international career started with an impressive victory against the fierce Japanese fighter Hayato Sakurai. Sakurai, undefeated until his bout with Silva, lost not only the fight, but afforded Silva his first international “Shooto” title. Silva, like most great fighters, has had bad times as well. One includes losing by submission for the first time to Japanese underdog Daiju Takase at PRIDE 26.
Afterwards, self-proclaimed experts said that Silva was overrated, and that his weaknesses in ground fighting would not allow him to go to the top. Those predictions were a bit off, to say the least. Silva’s record stands presently at 19-4. Anderson is the current UFC Middleweight Champion and he is arguably the top MMA middleweight fighter today.
Anderson is a world class Muay Thai fighter, originally from the hard-core Chute Boxe Academy in Curitiba, Brazil. He has trained with the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. He has a diversified arsenal of strikes, ranging from strong boxing skills to low and high kicks, flying knees and powerful clinch-work. The Spider could have easily been nicknamed “The Brazilian Missile,” due to the accuracy and destructive power of his strikes.
His accuracy and power has afforded him eleven KOs against top class fighters like Carlos Newton, Rich Franklin, and Nathan Marquardt. One of his most notable KOs was at England’s Cage Rage 16, where he used a beautiful and quite rare Muay Thai reverse elbow known in Thai as “Sok Kratong.” Absolute precision was necessary to successfully execute this technique, which surprised the audience nearly as much as it did his ppponent, Tony Fryklund.
GRAPPLING & SUBMISSIONS
Anderson earned a BJJ black belt under the renowned BJJ and MMA fighter Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira.
Anderson has defeated several top ground specialists recently. He submitted BJJ black belt Travis Lutter with a triangle choke. Silva said it was so tight that Lutter literally growled before tapping.
Anderson also defended his UFC Middleweight title against BJJ black belt Nate Marquardt, 7 time King of Pancrase. Silva, defeated Nate on his own ground, so to speak. At the beginning of the fight, Nate took Anderson down and went into his guard. Anderson’s extraordinary flexibility prevented a close half guard and he escaped a few moments later. At the end of the round, Silva executed a fierce combination, knocking Nate to the ground, where his powerful punches finished the job.
Anderson trains to go nonstop for a full battle, though he seeks the KO or submission from the start. Silva cross trains, practicing with rounds of boxing and Muay Thai adapted to the rules of his upcoming fights. He has amazing flexibility and his legs have the strength of a boa constrictor. At 5’11” and 185 pounds, Silva’s size is not impressive, but his timing, speed, and destructive power are.
The best example of Anderson’s heart was his battle at Cage Rage 8, where he fought British MMA idol and Middleweight Cage Rage Champion Lee Murray. During the press conference, Murray disrespected the Brazilian flag. When he and Silva came face to face for photos, In the ensuing altercation Murray was literally pushed by Silva’s forehead through the chairs. Anderson calmly said that he learned not to back down from psychological abuse. Anderson later defeated Murray, by unanimous decision.
After the fight, Anderson gave the ripped Brazilian flag to Murray in front of his hometown fans. The audience threw beer cans at the ring. Anderson said that he thought he wouldn’t escape the ring alive, but had to show that disrespect hadn’t gotten the better of him.
Anderson has said that would like to retire as the UFC Middleweight Champion. He has hinted also at moving up to the light heavyweight division. While he has shown that he can be beaten in the past. Identifying a fighters weakness and being able to capitalize on it are two different things. Rich Franklin is undoubtedly studying Silva exhaustively before their upcoming match at UFC 77. Franklin surely knows that without being well prepared he will be the next victim caught in the Brazilian Spider’s web.