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All hail the king

MMA Fighting

If this is it for Anderson Silva, the UFC legend walks away from the sport exalted by his peers and with an unmatched legacy in his home country.

The 45-year-old “Spider” enters the octagon Saturday night for the 21st main event of his UFC career opposite Uriah Hall in Las Vegas, and he announced that the Fight Night bout will mark the end of a historic run that started back in 2006 and featured one-of-a-kind moves that inspired generations to come.

Silva dropped not only the jaws of his opponents with lightning-fast strikes, but left fans wondering if the middleweight was out of this world. To understand to what length his career has impacted the sport in his native country, MMA Fighting asked what Silva meant to 60 Brazilian fighters, coaches, legends and prospects — and what legacy he leaves behind.

His career wasn’t always perfect and blemish-free, it’s true, but being seen as the greatest of all time by so many decorated mixed martial artists is quite an accomplishment.

Jose Aldo, former UFC featherweight champion: “His generation made MMA more popular in Brazil, opened a lot of doors, broke barriers and the misconception that existed around our old vale tudo. He played with his hands low, very loose, but still knocked everybody out. That’s one of the biggest legacies he leaves for the sport.”

Deiveson Figueiredo, UFC flyweight champion: “Anderson Silva has made a huge impact in my life. He’s one of the fighters I looked up to the most when I started training. To me, without shadow of a doubt, Anderson is the best fighter of all time. He’ll forever be ‘The Spider.’ It’s hard to forget a fighter with a legacy like his. He’ll be truly missed. It was a joy watching all of his fights. When we knew that The Spider was fighting, you can be sure that I was going crazy in front of a TV waiting for the moment he would walk out and put on his show.”

Charles Oliveira, UFC lightweight: “You have to give Anderson Silva a standing ovation for his history and everything this man has done in the sport. He was the man in his time, he beat up everybody — he didn’t beat them up, he destroyed them. He made history inside and outside the UFC. I sat down to watch him fight many times and got emotional.”

Gilbert Burns, UFC welterweight contender: “Even though I was kind of from Vitor (Belfort)’s team when I started fighting in the UFC, I began training boxing with coach (Luis Carlos) Dorea and he invited me to train at Anderson’s gym in California. Anderson showed up in the middle of the training, super humble, and said, ‘Look, if you wanna come back here, you’re at home,’ and invited me to have dinner with him. You could see how humble he was, treating me super well. That shows the type of champion you are not only inside (the cage), but outside as well.”

Patricio Freire, Bellator featherweight and lightweight champion: “Anderson brought originality to the sport, inspired generations with his fighting style. We have brilliant fighters today that saw in Anderson Silva a unique style and ended up copying it for themselves. The sport became more dynamic, especially the standup fight. I remember when he knocked out Vitor Belfort and all of a sudden everybody started landing similar knockouts.”

Bibiano Fernandes, ONE bantamweight champion: “He’s a legend. I hope someone can do at least half of what he’s done in the UFC. He’s an example for many people to follow. You have to respect him, he’s a true phenom.”

Natan Schulte, PFL lightweight champion: “Anderson Silva leaves a great legacy. Are you going to say that some losses tainted his career? I think so. Maybe if he had stopped earlier… but the hunger to compete is unique to every fighter. I always compare Anderson Silva to Georges St-Pierre. ‘GSP’ chose the right moment to stop. Maybe if Anderson Silva stopped when he started talking about retirement… But, to me, he’s one of the three best MMA fighters of all times. People started noticing that Brazil had great fighters because of him.”

Eduardo Dantas, former Bellator bantamweight champion: “I watched Anderson knocking out Nate Marquardt before I made my MMA debut, and then he knocked out Rich Franklin a second time. I was just 17 and had just made my MMA debut, and I was impressed. He steamrolled everyone, including Dan Henderson, someone I watched in PRIDE. That was unforgettable. I thought to myself, ‘I want to be like that guy, he’s a monster.’ Anderson was 33 or something by that time and showed he was just getting started.”

Marlon Moraes, former WSOF bantamweight champion: “I fought in Rio das Ostras (in 2008) and Anderson was in my opponent’s corner. I was always a fan of his, and having your idol in the opposite corner was quite an experience. That motivated me a lot. I made sure to go there and talk to him after the win, give Anderson a hug. His legacy is to fight with happiness. He always went in there to have fun. Anderson is the most technical striker in MMA history, the greatest of all times.”

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, former UFC and PRIDE heavyweight champion: “Anderson surpassed every level a martial artist has ever set. He made the sport popular like no other, like Mike Tyson did with boxing. I remember going to the Maldives and the coconut guy knew who Anderson was. He entered MMA as a martial artist and became a global sports star, a celebrity.”

Adriano Moraes, ONE flyweight champion: “I follow his career since I was a kid. That mix of muay Thai and other martial arts will forever be in his legacy. Anderson Silva is unique. He’s always inspired me, I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s incredible. From that robbery against (Michael) Bisping to the Rich Franklin beatdowns, his career was full of joy and excitement.”

Paulo Filho, former WEC middleweight champion: “He fought the best and toughest athletes in the world. He truly was the Pelé of MMA. He made extremely tough opponents look easy. Brazil will always be known as a stable for great fighters, but Anderson Silva took it to another level, a super athlete that will hardly be surpassed. Many athletes are born with talent, good background or extreme power. Anderson was born with no background, he’s not an extremely powerful guy, but his muay Thai is impeccable. Anderson Silva’s name will continue to be in the top of the list when you talk about MMA in 20, 30, 100 years from now.”

Rafael Carvalho, former Bellator middleweight champion: “He revolutionized the sport, showing a joyful way of fighting.”

Ariane Lipski, former KSW flyweight champion: “He was always one step ahead of his opponent’s attacks, which is very hard. His mental strength, his physical strength, the technique… What stood out the most to me was the fact that he came from Curitiba with masters (Fabio) Noguchi and Rafael Cordeiro, that also coached my professor Renato Silva. I’ve never met Anderson, but I feel like I’m coming from the same lineage of the champions, not only Anderson but also Wanderlei Silva, ‘Shogun’ Rua, Cris Cyborg. I feel like I’m the next generation to come.”

Virna Jandiroba, former Invicta FC strawweight champion: “Anderson Silva is a living legend and every generation that comes owe him a lot. The mastery of how he performed was completely unique. His skills, not only technique and physically speaking but also emotional and psychological. He’s a real genius, truly unique, as champions usually are.”

UFC 183 Anderson Silva Workout

MAKING MMA GREAT AGAIN

Mixed martial arts was a popular sport in Brazil between 1950 and 1970 with the Gracie family, back when it was called vale tudo, but a series of controversies turned it into an underground competition. It all changed when “The Spider” kicked Vitor Belfort in the face.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, former UFC and PRIDE fighter: “Anderson took the UFC and the sport of MMA to another level. That style, his irreverence, his antics, that created the myth that was Anderson Silva. He was different. He had that style, he was respectful — but provocative when he had to be. Anderson Silva was, to me, the Ayrton Senna of fighting, a national idol that left a long legacy of fans, people that started buying pay-per-views and watching the UFC because of him. When he fought Vitor, people was talking about that fight everywhere you went, every bar tuned in for that fight. Anderson brought a new audience to the arenas, and that’s a great legacy he leaves for the sport.”

Ricardo Liborio, Brazilian Top Team founder: “Anderson led a group that was responsible for making MMA popular in Brazil. That’s when the sport became more acceptable in Brazil. They finally were on every TV, radio and online network. They became true idols. And Anderson was, in my opinion, MMA’s Ayrton Senna. Everybody cheered for the guy. He represented our art, out culture, and our Brazilian roots.”

Wallid Ismail, former UFC and PRIDE fighter, Jungle Fight founder: “He really made history and helped propagate the sport globally, especially in Brazil. Anderson Silva is the Michael Jordan of MMA. He was amazing. In his prime, no one could touch Anderson Silva.”

Goiti Yamauchi, Bellator fighter: “Anderson Silva was a game-changer in Brazil like Georges St-Pierre and Conor McGregor were for their countries. The sport wouldn’t be known here if it wasn’t for Anderson. There were other pioneers in the sport before, but I think Anderson is the biggest name. If you go out in the streets in Brazil and ask people to say the name of one MMA fighter, they will say Anderson. He broke barriers.”

Charles Oliveira: “I remember watching the UFC in Rio and Anderson was a VIP guest. The lights went out, his music started playing, and all of a sudden everybody started cheering as he walked out with his belt, dancing around like he’s always done before his fights. I remember saying, ‘One day I’ll make history like this guy has made.’ I admire him, I respect him as a fighter. I can’t wait to watch his fight (with Hall). Regardless of the outcome, I hope we can applaud the man and celebrate.”

Roberto Satoshi, RIZIN fighter: “Many people forget what he’s done and only see the present, but you have to remember that he was the guy, he made MMA become what it is today. He made the UFC become what it is. He made the UFC, not the opposite. It will be a while until we have another Anderson Silva representing us so well.”

Thiago Moises, UFC fighter: “If MMA is where it is today in Brazil, it’s because of what Anderson Silva has built. Everything he did in his fights looked like magic. People that didn’t know anything about MMA knew who Anderson Silva was.”

Robson Gracie Jr., Bellator fighter: “Only those who watched PRIDE and the early UFC shows cared about the sport before, but everybody stopped to watch that Vitor Belfort fight. I was at a friend’s birthday party and they stopped the whole party, put the fight on the big screen, and then resumed the party when the fight was over.”

Andre Galvao, Silva’s former trainer: “He was always laughing five, 10 minutes before a fight. That’s what made him so special, you know? That’s how you become so unique.”

Reginaldo Vieira, The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 winner: “We have to keep our heroes in a pedestal to remember how we got here. Anderson Silva changed MMA. In my opinion, he’s the godfather of modern MMA. Elbows, spinning punches and kicks, flying knees, hands low… He’s phenomenal. If we have a chance to make a living out of this sport it’s because of his fight with Belfort. MMA was misinterpreted and unknown then, and gyms were full after that fight. Anderson Silva is a great hero and must be remembered for that.”

Renato Moicano, UFC fighter: “He’s the one that made MMA popular with that fight with Vitor Belfort. I was just a fan of the sport back then and watching him knock him out like that, it was a turning point. The way he fought was very unique. He had that aura of invincibility. Even his loss, after all the struggles he went through, that made him human. People have to respect the athlete he was and still is. You don’t see anyone with his style. (Israel) Adesanya and other guys are good, but the fear people had when they were fighting him, that was absurd. Brazilian MMA owes a lot to Anderson Silva.”

Norma Dumont, UFC fighter: “Anderson was so light on his feet, he was the first to show that precision was better than power. He motivated and inspired others like Jon Jones and Adesanya. He opened a gigantic door for us in Brazil because people began to know what MMA was because of him. We were seen as people fighting in a cage before Anderson, and then we became martial artists. What he has done for MMA, changing an era, will be hard to replicate.”

Rani Yahya, UFC fighter: “He’s a star with a different personality. Fighters were seen as these mean-mugged athletes, and then he was dancing on TV, making fun of himself and his own voice. He not only became a huge star, but he changed the way MMA was seen. He’s one of a kind.”

Esther Lin

HARD WORK PAYS OFF

Anderson Silva is one of the most talented fighters of all time. Those around him guarantee he wasn’t only born gifted, but spent hours a day, every single day, working in the gym to reach that level of success.

Cristiano Marcello, Silva’s former trainer: “We can’t put Anderson Silva’s legacy and how genius he was in words. I had the honor of working with him and being in his corner. He’s unprecedented. To this day I use him as an example in the gym, that a champion has to do something extra, and he did that. The training session was over and he was there hitting pads, training his reflexes. He was always humble to seek for more knowledge. If you had the honor of watching him live you were given a masterclass. We’ll look back in a few decades and see Anderson as boxing sees Muhammad Ali. He’s sitting among the gods of Olympus.”

UFC 183 Anderson Silva Workout

Marco Ruas, UFC tournament winner: “I’m a huge fan of his. He put Brazil back on top. You can consider him the Muhammad Ali of MMA. He’s so loose, proving that a world-class muay Thai fighter could win in MMA, but he was also very well-rounded. There are talented fighters that don’t train that hard, but he invests in training, he works hard every day. His precision, his impressive fights, holding that belt for so many years and taking Brazil to another level… He showed we’re the best in this sport.”

Goiti Yamauchi: “I had the pleasure of living with him when I was a kid after he left Chute Boxe. Seeing his rise at Cage Rage and then becoming UFC champion against Rich Franklin… I always use Anderson as an example for the kids that get upset after a bad day of training. Anderson was very humble in training. He always put himself in a bad spot to challenge himself out of that position. Everything he’s done, that won’t be in vain. I don’t know if he remembers this, but he told me once, ‘I’ll get old one day and you kids will carry our legacy.’”

Luis Carlos Dorea, Silva’s boxing coach: “Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ told me in 2003, ‘Master, I want you to meet this guy Anderson Silva. He’s very talented. He’s down, he wants to stop fighting, and he’s coming to Rio to train and we’ll help him.’ When I met him, I saw that he wasn’t normal. He went to Salvador to train, Rodrigo paid his expenses and we began working. We worked for months, and I noticed he was unique. To me, he’s the greatest MMA athlete of all times, a great example both inside and outside the cage. He made great athletes look weak in front of him.”

Juliana Velasquez, Bellator fighter: “I had the pleasure of watching him in some of his camps in Rio de Janeiro and he was always the first to arrive in the gym and the last to leave. He taught us to be disciplined. Champions or not, athletes have to be committed. He was there before the coaches. I was lucky to meet the professional side of Anderson Silva but also his human side. He’s admirable, and it’s an honor to say I could witness part of this story.”

Cosmo Alexandre, ONE fighter: “Anderson was born to fight. He was born with this gift. When I watched him fighting I thought, ‘There’s no way anyone can beat him.’ He could knock you out with so many different ways. Anderson is the Pelé of MMA. Thank God I had the opportunity to work with him in his camp for Israel and could see for myself that he’s truly blessed. And even though he was born with this gift, he never stops training. That’s why he deserves everything he won. We need more fighters like Anderson Silva.”


GREAT FIGHTER, BETTER COACH

Can “The Spider” become a successful coach in the future? For those who had a chance to learn with the UFC legend, that’s a no-brainer.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: “He’s a great fighter but also a great coach. I’ve learned a lot from him. One of my first fights in PRIDE, with (Kazushi) Sakuraba, Anderson came to Rio and trained me alongside Katel (Kubis). I was so confident I won that fight on the feet. They were very important in the beginning of my MMA career. We saw Anderson as a great athlete back then, but I see a bright future for him as a great coach. He always loved teaching. We’re proud of having him as an idol.”

Warlley Alves, former training partner: “What Anderson does and the way he does it, it’s hard to replicate. It’s impossible, I’d say. Anderson was extremely talented, an artist, and a badass. He takes rabbits out of the hat that you just can’t foresee. When you train with Anderson, you have no idea what he’s going to do. You usually know what you can expect from an athlete, but you don’t have that with Anderson. He can take a rabbit — or a freaking truck — out of the hat. He literally is a magician. He does things that are bizarre.”

Reginaldo Vieira, member of Team Silva on TUF: Brazil 4: “Being part of the show by his side, as his student, was a great experience for me. TUF was unforgettable for me, especially because I won the season and met my idols in person. When I was, cutting weight in a bathtub for a fight, I remember Anderson coming with a phone and showing me motivational videos and audio messages. It was fantastic. I used to do the same thing, and seeing my idol do that showed me I was on the right path.”

Bruno Silva, UFC fighter and member of Team Silva on TUF: Brazil 4: “Being on his team on TUF was great because we had the opportunity of training together many times before in the gym. I could know him better, his style. I guarantee that every fighter in the world would have loved to be part of this, having the experience of training with Anderson Silva. He kept yelling in the gym, ‘Happiness! Joy!’ That’s it, you have to be happy and have fun in the MMA journey. It will all end one day, so fight hard and have fun. That’s the most important thing I learned with him.”

Nikolas Motta, CFFC champion and member of Team Silva on TUF: Brazil 4: “I grew up watching him fight when I was 13. Big fan. I’m from a small town in Minas Gerais and one day I sent a photo of Anderson Silva to a friend of mine on an online chat and said I’d train with this guy one day. And he said, ‘You have to keep your feet on the ground.’ Like, ‘you’re a small town kid.’ I stopped talking to him and continued training. I was Anderson’s second pick on TUF years later. I remembered that when Anderson was holding pads for me on TUF and thought to myself, ‘I’ve made it.’”

Matheus Mattos, Bellator fighter and member of Team Silva on TUF: Brazil 4: “We didn’t have much contact on TUF because he had to leave early. We were both from Team Nogueira at the time but we’re from different weight classes so I never had the opportunity to train with him. He was always a fun guy, welcoming everyone to the team, giving tips and chatting with us.”

Evangelista Santos, former teammate: “He helped make the sport evolve and become more popular since the vale tudo days. He’s so cold blooded in his fights and precise with his strikes he inspired champions like Jon Jones. You can see how (Jones) looked up to Anderson when he was creating his game. Adesanya also reminds us of Anderson when he’s fighting. He’s in the top-five of all-time greats, no doubt. If he has the talent to pass along his knowledge to the other generations, Brazil will have plenty of champions in the future.”


PURE MAGIC

Silva holds a long list of brilliant moments inside the octagon, but some stand out ahead of the others.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: “He told me before the (first Sonnen) fight, ‘I’ll submit this guy, master. It will take some time, but I will. I won’t stand with him, I’ll show I’m a black belt in jiu-jitsu.’ Crazy. The strategy was to stay on the feet, he had a rib injury, but still pulled it off. That was the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen.”

Gilbert Burns: “We see many dominant champions like Jon Jones, who finished all of his fights early in his career, but he didn’t do it like Anderson. Anderson destroyed the guys, he was on another level. When he moved up in weight I thought it would be tougher, but he toyed with Forrest Griffin.”

Rafael Cavalcante: “The Forrest Griffin fight was surreal. Our jaws were dropped in the corner, we couldn’t believe what we were watching.”

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: “He trained with Vitor Belfort and knew he was tough — and I actually had to go pick him up at the mall hours before the fight. He told me, ‘Relax, master, I know the path (to victory). He’ll open in the middle and I’ll finish the fight in the first round with my foot in his face.”

Ramon Lemos, Silva’s former head coach: “If many fighters and martial arts teachers have a job today, if many MMA promotions exist and gyms were opened, that’s because of (the Belfort) fight. This sport gained a huge respect because of this. Everybody stopped and watched it. No only his personal achievements and victories leave a legacy, but he also left a legacy for others that make a living off of this sport. I know that Anderson helped everyone in the MMA world have better opportunities and put food on their tables. We owe that to Anderson.”

Luis Carlos Dorea: “He was going to fight Uriah Hall in Curitiba but had gallbladder issue. He called me in the morning saying he was in the hospital but I thought he was joking. He said, ‘I’m in pain, but I’ll get better and fly to Curitiba.’ He didn’t get better and had to undergo surgery. He fought (Daniel) Cormier two months later. He called me and said, ‘I’m fighting Cormier Saturday.’ He’s one of a kind, no one else would have done that. He wasn’t even training, but went there to fight a great champion. We saw the respect Cormier had for him, and Anderson landed that kick that, if we had more time… To me, Anderson is the best of all times.”

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: “Anderson grows in competition. People deliver in fights what they did in training, but some choke under pressure. Anderson is the opposite. He dominates under pressure. Imagine that Chael Sonnen fight and everything he had to listen to, and he went there and submitted him in the final minute. And knocked him out in the second fight.”

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

ONE OF A KIND

Will we ever see another MMA fighter like Anderson Silva enter a ring or cage? His fellow fighters wouldn’t bet on that.

Davi Ramos, UFC fighter: “Anderson revolutionized the sport and the way people fight. A lot of people came after him, like Jon Jones, (Conor) McGregor) and Israel Adesanya, and that was because of the way he fought. That’s so cool. I’m a jiu-jitsu fighter but I love the striking, and I’m a huge fan of the way he brought the fight to his area.”

Herbert Burns, UFC fighter: “Anderson will always be remembered for his technique and reaction timing. His legacy… I love soccer, so I compare to those dribblers to go forward and get the victory. Anderson has done that so many times in his career. When he fought a wrestler, he tapped them. The others, he beat them on the feet, but never in an ordinary way. Anderson would always put on a show. He was a showman. Anderson was the Garrincha of MMA.”

Raulian Paiva, UFC fighter: “Anderson Silva made the fight look easier when he was defending his belt. He made other fighters get lost in his game. It made it look so easy, and that’s why he’ll forever be in history.”

Andre Dida, MMA coach: “The way McGregor, Jon Jones and others move, Anderson Silva created that style. He showed the world this one-strike style. Hands low, very effective… Anderson showed he was a bright athlete and made history, representing Brazil always the best way possible.”

Rafael Cavalcante, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion: “Anderson’s mind is so strong he was able to hold that belt for so many years. Anderson leaves so many things that fighters can reflect on. He had the guts to be bold, be special. I’ve heard many people say he played games too much, but that’s his style. I never saw him playing games. When he did his thing and was successful everyone showered him with praise, but when you try what’s different and more dangerous (and it goes wrong), you’re criticized. Win or lose, his legacy is gigantic.”

Leonardo Santos, UFC fighter: “He’s one of the best fighters I’ve ever watched to this day. He did unthinkable things and reigned for so long so he must be respected for everything he’s done for out sport.”

Andre Galvao: “Anderson has done what no one else did. He’s the GOAT. There’s only one Anderson Silva. Many fighters that are considered GOATs today were influenced by ‘The Spider,’ like Jon Jones and Adesanya. So many people trying to be like him proves he’s the GOAT. If there’s a mountain for GOATs, Anderson is in the clouds.”

Francisco Trinaldo, UFC fighter: “Everybody stops to watch Anderson fight. He can knock anyone out at any moment. This young generation will always watch his fights. You just can’t not be a fan of his. We’ll miss him — but I don’t think he’ll retire. With a win now — and it’s a good fight for him — I think he still can fight for the belt.”

Renzo Gracie, former UFC and PRIDE fighter: “I met him when he was a young, skinny guy in Japan, and he went to the UFC and showed that Brazilians are good at kicking ass. We’ll miss him — but thank God for the DVDs, we can watch his fights over and over again and learn from him.”

Ricardo Ramos, UFC fighter: “He was a genius in the cage and made other fighters be inspired by his skills and his career. The many battles he fought, we have to be grateful for him opening a path for us in MMA, and also for motivating so many to be like him.”

Elizeu Zaleski, UFC fighter: “We always have our expectations high when Anderson is fighting. For everything he’s done and continues to do, I’m proud to be a Brazilian and say Anderson represents the same country with so many title defenses. He was the best fighter in the UFC. He was unique, he wasn’t just another one in there. We look up to him as an athlete.”

Robson Gracie Jr.: “He wrote his name as one of the best of all-time. He was a people’s hero. The motivation he leaves for the new MMA generation that’s coming up is, if you can do at least half of what he’s done, you’ll be a great idol already.”

Glover Teixeira, UFC fighter: “Anderson, to me, was the best in history. Better than Jon Jones… The way he fought, he was the Muhammad Ali of MMA. Not only a great fighter, he was a showman.”

Antonio Carlos Jr., UFC fighter: “It’s going to be hard for someone to do what he’s done. Many fighters are winners, but doing the things the way he did, that’s not easy. It was something special — and we felt special because of him.”

Johnny Walker, UFC fighter: “He inspired me. He’s one of the reasons why I started training, I wanted to be like him. Everybody stopped to watch his fights. It was like Mike Tyson in boxing. We all wanted to see what was going to happen. The way he fought was exciting, he put on a show. I think he was the first to do that, he was the first showman in the UFC.”

Carlos Diego Ferreira, UFC fighter: “He’s done so much for the sport and inspired so many, and continues to do so. To me, he’s a living legend. I love his style.”

Jussier Formiga, UFC fighter: “Anderson is an icon and has made history. He was the champion for so many years. He’ll forever be an idol for us, we’ll always have admiration and respect for him.”

Augusto Sakai, UFC fighter: “He remained undefeated for years, which is really hard, especially in the UFC. That’s his legacy. He loves to train, works really hard, and deserved the positive results he’s had for years.”

Vicente Luque, UFC fighter: “I was starting my MMA career and already watched him fight, cheered for him. Being a striker, I was always inspired by Anderson Silva. He went to the UFC in a time where wrestlers and grapplers dominated and proved that striking could be an effective weapon. He dominated the middleweight division and also beat great guys at 205. He’s one of the best, if not the best. Betting against Anderson was like throwing money away.”

Pedro Munhoz, UFC fighter: “I had the opportunity of training with him between 2010 and 2017, when I lived in Los Angeles and trained at Black House. Anderson was very important for me because his gym was next to the house I lived and he always left the doors open for me, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. I’ll always root for him.”

Ronny Markes, Bellator fighter: “He was the No. 1 star in the UFC for so long. The man that made the whole world watch Brazilian MMA after PRIDE was Anderson Silva. He was a sniper, brother.”

Bruno Malfacine, MMA fighter and jiu-jitsu legend: “Retirement is a delicate and sometimes very difficult moment in an athlete’s career, but Anderson became a legend and will leave an incredible legacy. He did his thing with excellence. I’m sad as a fan, of course, but life is made of cycles and I with him the same success in his next journey.”

Rorion Gracie, UFC founder: “As a fighter, Anderson will leave a legacy that is absolutely unforgettable for the UFC and for the sport, no doubt. He’s an exceptional kid, with an incredible talent, and a resume that will be hard to come close. I hope he continues to be a great example for many people in other areas.”

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
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