It’s been over a year since we last saw Anderson Silva step inside the Octagon.
This Saturday night, the former UFC middleweight champion will return following a lengthy rehab process due to a gruesome leg injury. Silva, who will turn 40 years old this April, is nearing an end to his legendary career.
And that’s why we all need to embrace whatever happens this weekend.
Like Randy Couture, BJ Penn, Chuck Liddell and maybe even Georges St-Pierre before him, we are never going to see another Anderson Silva.
Silva unified the UFC and Pride 185-pound titles, is a former Cage Rage and Shooto champion, owns the UFC records for most consecutive title defenses, most successful title defenses, most finishes in title fights, most consecutive wins, longest winning streak, most “Knockout of the Night” bonuses and the longest UFC title reign at over 2,400 days.
Honestly, to say he’s the greatest mixed martial arts fighter of all time is an understatement.
It’s been a long year without seeing that calm walk to the Octagon Silva presents. His typical demeanor is that of a professional, unless your name is Chael Sonnen or Vitor Belfort. Those fighters brought out a different – more dangerous – side of the former champion, and that was quite the moment.
He holds wins over ex-champs Belfort, Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson, Carlos Newton and Rich Franklin, along with the likes of Sonnen, Yushin Okami, Demian Maia and Stephan Bonnar.
His popularity has allowed him to pick up sponsors from Nike, Budweiser and Burger King, along with appearing in a handful of movies.
Will UFC 183 be the final appearance for the Brazilian? Only time will tell.