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Anderson Silva’s Top 5 UFC Victories

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5 UFC Performances That Helped Make Anderson Silva An Octagon Legend

Anderson Silva
Mark J. Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

The future of UFC legend Anderson Silva continues to be a much-discussed storyline more than a week after “The Spider” shattered his leg against middleweight champion Chris Weidman in their rematch at UFC 168. Thankfully, the painful images of Silva’s demise on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas have been replaced this week by a smiling, former long-time champion recovering with family members by his side. From all accounts, it seems as though he has full intentions of resuming his career. For now, it’ll be a lengthy recovery period for Silva after undergoing successful surgery.

The Brazilian’s dominant championship reign as the middleweight division kingpin from 2006-13 will be a difficult one for any fighter to duplicate. Silva certainly doesn’t need to fight again to add to his tremendous legacy, but clearly, you get the sense he doesn’t want his last Octagon image to be one of being removed on a stretcher in pure agony after breaking his left leg. There’s no denying that if one of the all-time greats were to return, likely in 2015, it would be a highly anticipated fight and would prove to be a huge PPV cash cow for the organization.

There certainly are attractive options out there for Silva if he elects to make a UFC return. However, such a decision will obviously depend on how his recovery goes and at age 38, Father Time will have a say in that. However, Silva’s competitive fires will be key in the extensive rehabilitation process. If he sets his mind on a comeback, it would be hard to bet against him.

One thing is for certain, Weidman has some very difficult shoes to fill in following a true MMA legend. I thought that, at this time, it would be appropriate to reflect on the top five UFC victories of Silva’s remarkable career. Hopefully he will get a chance to end his career on his own terms and we get the chance to see Silva compete again. Obviously selecting just five from so many dominant performances was no easy chore, but in my mind, these efforts truly stand out the most.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.

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5. Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin

Anderson Silva
Jayne Kamin-Oncea USA TODAY Sports

Silva turned in a stellar performance against Griffin at UFC 101, moving up to light-heavyweight and completely dominating the former 205 pound champion. Silva toyed with Griffin, knocking him down on three occasions with precise strikes and keeping his hands at his sides, daring his opponent to hit him. Silva couldn’t miss, while Griffin couldn’t connect. The end came at 3:23 of the first round as Silva landed a perfectly placed right hand while backing up to finish off a truly outclassed Griffin.

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4. Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson

Anderson Silva
Jayne Kamin-Oncea USA TODAY Sports

This unification matchup against the Pride champion took place at UFC 82 and was considered to be one of Silva’s tougher matchups. “Hendo” had a solid opening round, using his wrestling skills to take Silva to the canvas and land some hammer fists. The complexion of the bout would change in Round 2, as Silva utilized the clinch to land some punches and hurt his opponent with a big elbow. Silva would take a stunned Henderson to the mat and land some serious shots while locking on a body triangle. Silva would finish the fight at 4:50 of Round 2 with a rear naked choke.

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3. Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin 1

Anderson Silva
Mark J. Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

Silva put on one of the more brutal Muay Thai displays ever seen in the Octagon when he took the middleweight title from Rich Franklin at UFC 64. After an even first minute and a half of action, Silva turned the tide by unloading brutal knees to the body and head while employing the Thai clinch. Franklin couldn’t get away from the vicious knee strikes and was eventually crumpled in decisive fashion at 2:59 of the very first round. A final knee to the face from Silva would leave Franklin with a badly broken nose. Silva would also dominate their rematch at UFC 77, registering a second round stoppage.

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2. Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort

Anderson Silva
Jayne Kamin-Oncea USA TODAY Sports

Silva has many highlight-reel victories over his career, but maybe none were more spectacular than his finish of Belfort at UFC 126. Silva delivered an absolutely devastating front kick to the face of his fellow Brazilian and followed up with a couple of strikes to close the affair in stunning fashion at 3:25 of the first round. It was one of his many career post-fight bonuses, as Silva's destruction of Belfort earned him Knockout of the Night.

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1. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen 1

Anderson Silva
Mark J. Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

This fight, at UFC 117, was by no means the most dominant performance by Silva during his reign of terror, but it was undoubtedly the most dramatic victory that he recorded. The trash-talking, cocky challenger had backed up his words with a dominant showing against the seemingly invincible champion. Sonnen had used his superior wrestling skills and surprising striking to carve out a huge advantage on the scorecards entering the final round. Then, it happened, one of the greatest come-from-behind submission victories in UFC championship history. Silva managed to lock in a triangle armbar that forced Sonnen to tap at 3:10 of Round 5. Silva showed that he was able to deal with serious adversity and showcased his amazing skills when it appeared as though all was lost. It was a night that no fan would forget.

Silva would destroy Sonnen in much more decisive fashion in their rematch at UFC 148.