By Damon Martin, MMAWeekly
By Damon Martin, MMAWeekly

Being one of the very best fighters in the world will always garner a fair amount of praise, but it also tends to put a very large target on whoever that person may be. Anderson Silva has long been considered a top notch competitor and arguably the best fighter in the 185lb weight class in the entire world, and now that he has a championship around his waist, he faces the challenge of defending the title.

Hailing from Curitiba, Brazil, Anderson Silva has a very extensive background in muay thai kickboxing and he has been able to transition his amazing stand-up into a very well rounded mixed martial arts game as well. In the middleweight division, few fighters are able to truly intimidate an opponent in one facet of the bout or another, but when it comes to striking and stand-up, Silva does just that.

Starting his career in the famed Vale Tudo matches held in Brazil, Anderson Silva was looking to build his reputation as a tough-as-nails fighter who was willing to stand and trade with any opponent. After a successful run in both the Meca Vale Tudo series in Brazil and the Shooto organization, Silva was signed to fight for Pride, which was his biggest opportunity to fight at the time.

In his first fight at Pride 21, Anderson Silva took on talented submission specialist, Alex Stiebling, who had gained quite a reputation for beating his Brazilian opponents, so much so that he was called “The Brazillian Killa.” Unfortunately for Stiebling, Anderson Silva was one Brazilian that he wasn’t able to chalk into his win column. Instead Silva got a win by TKO and made his debut in Pride a successful one.

Anderson Silva landed a second win in Pride by decision over Alexander Otsuka, but was instantly noticed by fans with his highlight reel knockout of former UFC welterweight champion Carlos Newton at Pride 25. When the referee stood the action up midway through the first round due to inactivity, Silva seized the moment and landed a flying knee that stunned Newton and quickly the Brazilian jumped in and hit his opponent with several more punches before the referee could stop the fight. During the fight, commentator Stephen Quadros referred to Silva as the “Roy Jones Jr.” of mixed martial arts for his quick and very powerful knockout power.

Unfortunately for Anderson Silva, the one chink in his armor seems to be his ground game and in his next fight against Daiju Takase he lost by rolling triangle choke late in the first round. His only other loss since that time was another submission defeat, this time at the hands of Ryo Chonan, in a fight that many called one of the best comebacks in recent history as Silva was very much in control of the fight before his opponent pulled out a very surprising heel hook in the third and final round.

Previous to that time, Silva had managed to defeat two of the top fighters in his weight class in consecutive bouts. First he was able to beat Jeremy Horn, who at the time was considered to be the top fighter at 185lbs, and then in his first fight for Cage Rage, Silva went three rounds with local favorite, Lee Murray, winning a unanimous decision after three rounds.

In his last fight also in Cage Rage, Silva was able to finish UFC veteran Jorge Rivera by TKO in the second round, a feat very few fighters have been able accomplish. Now Silva returns to England to face another UFC veteran in Curtis Stout, putting his Cage Rage middleweight title on the line.

Both fighters prefer to stand-up so the fireworks may come early, sending one of the fighters home with a knockout loss. Silva is a classic muay thai fighter who has almost razor sharp knees and elbows, who can and will unleash them at any point of the fight. If Silva is able to win his fight with Stout, a reappearance in Pride, possibly as a match-up with the winner of the finals of the 183lb tournament pitting Dan Henderson against Murilo Bustamante could be on the horizon. Also, a rematch with Ryo Chonan, who has fallen on tough times recently with a couple of losses, would probably interest Silva very much.

First, Anderson Silva has to defend his title against Curtis Stout, which should be a very good main event for Cage Rage 14: Punishment, this Saturday, December 3rd.