celebrated his 36th birthday just two months ago, yet at an age when most fighters are nearing the conclusion of their athletic careers, the "Spider" looks no closer to falling back to the middleweight pack. A true natural phenomenon, he seems immune to aging and unaffected by the laws of physics.
So far above the rest is Silva that not only has he never lost in the UFC
octagon, he's also barely ever been in a real fight. During his record UFC
run, only Chael Sonnen
pushed him for any extended period of time. Yushin Okami
was thought to have a chance due to a skill-set that is similar to Sonnen's, yet after Silva spent a couple minutes surveying Okami's tentative plans, it soon became a quick night of work.
The victory extended some of Silva's own records, and set others. Here's a look at some of his historic marks.
Most all-time knockdowns in UFC history - 15
No. 2 - Chuck Liddell
Silva is arguably the most devastating striker in UFC history, even ahead of big punchers like Liddell or Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Amazingly, Silva has his 15 knockdowns in 14 career bouts. Liddell needed 23 fights to notch his 14 knockdowns. How does he do it? See below. No. 1 in significant strike accuracy - 68.5%
No. 2 - Cheick Kongo
One of the reasons Silva is No. 1 all-time in UFC knockdowns is because of his accuracy. When Silva finds his range, he gets laser-lock on his opponent, and it becomes target practice. He's not just No. 1 in this category, he's No. 1 by a wide margin. If you stand in front of Silva, you're going to get hit, and hit hard. Longest all-time UFC win streak - 14
No. 2 - Georges St-Pierre
Fourteen straight wins is an absurd number at the highest level of MMA
. There are too many ways to lose, yet his opponents haven't found one yet. Think about this: Chuck Liddell
's longest UFC win streak was seven. Matt Hughes
' was six. Randy Couture
's was four. BJ Penn
's is three. Those are four of the most respected champions in UFC history, and Silva's streak is completely out of their league. Best all-time UFC win percentage - 1.000
No. 2 - Cain Velasquez
Maybe one day Velasquez can boast of a record like Silva's, but he's not there quite yet despite holding the UFC heavyweight championship. His seven straight wins are only half of what Silva has accomplished, and his first couple of fights as a rookie were against fellow newcomers who didn't present him any significant challenge. Silva, on the other hand, was basically a top contender from the second he entered the UFC octagon for the first time. He's basically always faced the best available competition. Most title fight victories - 10
No. 2 - Georges St-Pierre
St-Pierre's number comes with an asterisk, as one of his title fight wins was an interim title bout. GSP is 9-2 in title bouts, an excellent record, but it doesn't sound nearly as impressive against Silva's ridiculous 10-0 mark. When you're the champion, everyone is gunning for you. When you're the champion as long as Silva, your challenger works extra hard to attain the historic position of being the man to end the streak. Yet Silva keeps right on winning.
Most UFC title defenses - 9
No. 2 - St-Pierre, 6
Keeping motivation levels high after you reach the top is a great challenge to many athletes. It's easy to focus when there is someone else to focus on. But when you reach the top, there is a natural tendency to look around and enjoy the view. Silva hasn't gotten lazy or into bad habits. He continues to work hard and that's why he stays physically sharp. Longest reign by days - 1,779
By virtue of his win over Okami, Silva virtually ensures that he will hold the belt on October 14, a day that will mark the fifth anniversary of his championship win over Rich Franklin
back at UFC 64. One day he'll lose the belt, right? Right?
At this point, it's safe to say Silva is the greatest martial artist in history. The sport is still young, so it's quite possible someone will surpass his achievements within a few years, but for those of us lucky enough to have witnessed him, we'll know what we saw. For Anderson Silva, winning was not enough, he had to set records, too. Age may be chasing him in a way that opponents never could, but for now, it appears that neither is gaining any ground.