But even in those sports it didn’t take long for legends like Ruth, Graham and Russell to emerge. MMA is no different. Current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has put together an ongoing streak that may never be matched, or at least not for a very long time.
That streak includes an undefeated mark since joining the UFC in 2006, several title defenses, and even moving up a weight class to test himself.
It’s for that very reason that 36-year-old Anderson Silva’s goal, as he winds down his career, is not just to be remembered as one of the best. He wants to be remembered as the greatest of all time.
“Anderson always wants to fight the best, and fight the best potential opponents that’s going to cement his legacy in this sport,” Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, said in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio.
“What he’s done is going to be very difficult for anybody ever to repeat… eight title defenses, 13 consecutive wins in the UFC. I think the way the sport is evolving and how much better these athletes and all these fighters are getting, I think for you to roll off 13 wins consecutively in the UFC is something almost next to impossible.”
Silva’s reign of terror has been nothing short of remarkable.
In those 13 wins, Silva has finished 11 of his opponents with either strikes or submissions. In nine of those victories, the fight never made it past the second round.
Silva is often touted as the top pound-for-pound fighter on the planet by UFC president Dana White, and his manager believes that he’s not only on his way to being considered the greatest of all time, he might already be there.
“I really truly believe in my heart that Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter of all time,” Soares commented.
The numbers make it hard to argue.
Silva has defeated every top contender the UFC has thrown at him, and put most of them away in devastating fashion. Even when he went up to 205 pounds, Silva was able to absolutely obliterate former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in less than a round.
The next task that Silva hopes to conquer will be to defeat the last fighter that put a blemish on his record. Yushin Okami, while winning via disqualification for an illegal up-kick, still technically holds a win over Silva and that’s something that just doesn’t sit well with the Brazilian.
He’ll look to settle that score on Aug. 27 at UFC Rio.