Can Anderson Silva still be considered the greatest of all time?
He hasn't won a fight since 201219:15 Thursday 9 February 2017, 19:15 9 Feb 2017
There is no disputing that Anderson “The Spider” Silva will go down as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.
He reigned supreme in the UFC’s middleweight division from 2006 until 2012 and defended his title 10 times which included impressive stoppage victories over Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort.
He previously fought in Pride in Japan and with the Cage Warriors promotion but it is with the UFC where his legend truly grew.
As the sport entered the mainstream more and more, Silva became the poster boy. His elusive style and gentle demeanor coupled with his spectacular knock-outs endeared him to fans everywhere.
He was finally beaten in the UFC by the then undefeated Chris Weidman in July 2013 after he underestimated the American and was caught with a hook while mocking him in the second round.
An immediate rematch was granted. Silva took Weidman seriously this time but broke his leg after one of his kicks was checked. It was hard to watch what many had viewed as invincible writhing around in agony.
His recuperation took just over a year before he signed to fight Nick Diaz and although he took an unanimous decision at the time, it was later overturned to a no-contest after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs and he was banned from competition for one year.
Once he served his suspension, he took a short notice fight at light-heavyweight at UFC 200 when the card was on the brink of collapse and fought Daniel Cormier in a non-title bout.
The fight was less than two months after he had surgery to remove his gall bladder and he was fairly easily beaten by Cormier - who had completed a full training camp preparing for arch-rival Jon Jones before he was pulled from the card for an anti-doping violation.
The brazilian's record stands at 33-8 with 1 no-contest and he has dropped to number seven in the UFC's middleweight rankings. He faces Derek Brunson in the co-main event at UFC 208 this weekend but at 41 years of age can he really finish his career in a fashion that will make up for the disasterous period he has just been through?
Whether he can or not, that process begins in a few days time.
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