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Anderson Silva

14 Anderson Silva Fights We Never Got To See

Anderson Silva will forever be known as one of the greatest mixed martial artists to ever cross the octagon, and for the longest time, he was the pound-for-pound best in the world, and the pound-for-pound greatest of all-time.

Anderson SilvaHim sticking around too long and adding up the defeats on his resume has tarnished that a little, as well as him failing his post-fight drug test when he fought Nick Diaz. Nonetheless, the things he did inside that cage were truly special, they’re things only Anderson Silva was capable of doing.

There is one thing that always stings when looking back on a fighters career though, and that’s the fights we didn’t get to see from them.

Silva fought all sorts of the worlds elite talent, from his epic battles with Chael Anderson SilvaSonnen (triangle choke & TKO) and Rich Franklin (KO & TKO), to Nate Marquardt (TKO), Dan Henderson (rear naked choke), Demian Maia (UD), Chris Leben (KO), Vitor Belfort (KO), Yushin Okami (TKO), and more, but there are some names that it would have been a true honor to see him in there with.

Anderson SilvaAfter KO’ing Chris Leben in his UFC debut, who was 15-1 as a professional and 5-0 inside the UFC, the rest is absolute history. There will never be another Anderson Silva.

The way he would just slice through his opponents with his vicious knees, kicks, and punches, and how accurate he was, the precision he possessed, there’s a reason he was considered the GOAT for a near decade.

In this list we will be going over only fighters that weren’t his teammates, so talents like Lyoto Machida and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira are ineligible for this piece. Continue reading to see these 14 names, and wonder yourself, how would these fights have gone?

14. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua

First up is fellow Brazilian, light-heavyweight legend Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, who has certainly left his mark on the sport of mixed martial arts. Most fans don’t remember this man for what he was at his best, and his prime was quite short-lived thanks to Jon Jones, but he is an absolute icon in our beloved sport.

‘Shogun’ first got notice in PRIDE, where he debuted with a 4-1 record. He stormed through their middleweight (205 lbs) division, going 8-0 with seven knockouts, defeating Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson (TKO), Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (UD), Alistair Overeem (TKO), and Ricardo Arona (KO) in the process.

The victory over Arona was in the finals of the 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Gran Prix, making Rua the champion of his division.

‘Shogun’ lost his next fight to Mark Coleman via TKO, a fight that was stopped due to his arm being broken. He fought four more times in PRIDE, winning all four, and securing finishes in three of those four.

Rua then came over to the UFC, and while he lost his promotional debut to Forrest Griffin, he avenged his defeat to Mark Coleman via TKO, and also KO’d Chuck Liddell, earning him a title shot at then champion Lyoto Machida.

To think, Rua went 12-1 in PRIDE against some real assassins, only lost via injury, and avenged it in their rematch. That should speak to how dangerous and talented this man was.

Machida versus Rua showed us a great fight, but a terrible decision. Everyone knows ‘Shogun’ won that fight, but Machida was awarded the unanimous decision victory. They had an immediate rematch, where ‘Shogun’ KO’d Machida in round one, and was now the UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion.

Either in the middle or end of his PRIDE run, around the time he made his UFC debut, or at the time Rua was UFC champion would have been the perfect time to make this fight. So really, anywhere from 2006-2011 would have sufficed.

13. Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture

‘The Natural’ came back from a 13-month retirement in 2007 to face Tim Sylvia for the UFC Heavyweight Championship, and though he was a pretty sizable underdog, he dominated the entire fight.

After re-capturing the heavyweight crown, Couture defended it against Gabriel Gonzaga, before losing it to Brock Lesnar. Couture also lost his next fight to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, before going on a three-fight win streak against the likes of Brandon Vera, Mark Coleman, and multiple-time professional boxing champion James Toney.

Couture actually won the light-heavyweight title twice, the heavyweight title three times, and the interim light-heavyweight title once throughout his career. He, like Silva, is no stranger to being the best in the world.

Not to mention Couture’s wrestling and dirty boxing abilities; the way he would clinch up and throw uppercuts and hooks to the head and body, he was the best in the world at it.

It’s safe to say Couture wouldn’t have wanted to be in a clinching position with Silva however, considering he had the most dangerous clinch in the entire sport, but ‘The Natural’ could’ve clinched in order to use his takedowns.

Couture won a World Cup bronze medal twice, a Pan American Games gold medal, five Pan American Championships medals (one gold, three silver, one bronze), and he’s a two-time NCAA Division I finalist, or silver medalist, a three-time NCAA Division I All-American, and a three-time Olympic team alternate, all of which were contested under Greco-Roman rules.

This would have been a great fight to see from anywhere around 2007 to 2010.

If Couture could have made the move down to light-heavyweight after he captured the title for the last time, or in the middle of his three-fight win streak, Anderson Silva would have been an incredible fight to see him in.

Silva was the middleweight champion this entire time, and honestly, you can’t find two more legendary fighters than Couture and Silva.

We did get to see Couture face Lyoto Machida in 2011, so we probably have an idea how it would’ve went, but it still would’ve been an epic battle of the legends nonetheless.

12. ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans

If Silva would have moved back up to light-heavyweight for the second time eight months sooner, he would have probably been the first champ-champ ever in the history of mixed martial arts, not Conor McGregor.

Silva moved up to 205 lbs to take on former light-heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin, eight months after he lost the belt to Rashad Evans. This would have been a great fight to see because Evans had some serious wrestling ability.

Evans out-wrestled Phil Davis for five rounds if that says anything, and he has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Rolles Gracie. He never used it offensively, but if he was able to take ‘The Spider’ down and keep him there, he would have been tough to submit.

At his best, Evans had a record of 17-1-1, and had defeated the likes of Michael Bisping (SD), Chuck Liddell (KO), Forrest Griffin (TKO), Thiago Silva (UD), ‘Rampage’ Jackson (UD), Tito Ortiz (TKO) in their rematch, and Phil Davis (UD).

When Evans had his title, 2008-2009, is when it would have been the ideal time for this fight, but really, it would have worked up until Evans fought Jon Jones, which was in 2012.

11. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza

One thing we missed in Silva’s career is him fighting the Strikeforce guys, there were quite a few of them that came over right around the time he lost to Chris Weidman. If he could’ve kept his prime going a little longer, or if these guys came over sooner, we would have been able to see some of these stellar match ups.

That’s not to say his prime was short lived, because it wasn’t in the slightest. Silva was at his best until he was 38-years-old, and he didn’t come to the UFC until he was 31-years-old. His agility, speed, precision, and accuracy carried him almost to his 40’s.

‘Jacare’ Souza would have been one of the most compelling match ups to make for him. Souza won the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship against Tim Kennedy, and defended it once against Robbie Lawler, before losing it to Luke Rockhold.

The grappling Souza possesses is second-to-none, he’s literally a top five grappler in the entire sport. Not only that, but he learned how to wrestle very effectively, and his boxing really came along as well.

Souza’s hands were absolutely vicious when he was at his best. He hit so incredibly hard, and his shot selection was some of the best in the sport believe it or not. Souza also had good head kicks, and once his fights hit the mat, forget about it.

It’s kind of sad, Souza just never got that title shot he so rightfully deserved. At one point, he was 7-1 in the UFC with six finishes, having only lost a split decision to Yoel Romero, a fight he could have won.

All of his UFC victories include defeating Chris Camozzi (arm-triangle choke), Yushin Okami (TKO), Francis Carmont (UD), Gegard Mousasi (guillotine choke), avenging his prior defeat, Chris Camozzi (armbar) again, Vitor Belfort (TKO), Tim Boetsch (kimura), Derek Brunson (KO), who he also KO’d in Strikeforce, and Chris Weidman (KO).

He also submitted elite BJJ black belt Ed Herman in Strikeforce just before joining the UFC. Any time in the first four years of his UFC career, 2013-2017, would have been a good time to make this fight. It’s too bad they peaked at different times.

10. Yoel ‘The Soldier of God’ Romero

This is another one of those match ups that just makes you think, man, why couldn’t we have been blessed with this fight?

Yoel Romero is perhaps the scariest middleweight to have ever lived, thus far into MMA’s 27-year life. Paulo Costa is the only one that compares to the sheer intimidation Romero possesses.

Firstly, we’ll start by saying Romero is one of the best pure wrestlers, and one of the best pure athletes this sport has ever seen; he’s as explosive, and as powerful as they come.

In freestyle wrestling, Romero won five World Championships medals (one gold, two silver, two bronze), he won six World Cup medals (three gold, two silver, one bronze), and he won gold at the Pan American Championships five times.

If that doesn’t say how great this Cuban’s wrestling is, he won a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics, and he placed in fourth at the 2004 Olympics.

Once Romero came to MMA, he just started starching everyone. He won his first four fights via knockout, before being knocked out by Rafael Cavalcante in Strikeforce at 205 lbs. Romero then moved down to 185 lbs for his UFC debut, and secured a flying knee KO just 92 seconds into round one.

After this, Romero secured third-round knockouts in six of his next eight bouts, defeating the likes of Ronny Markes (KO), Derek Brunson (TKO), Brad Tavares (UD), Tim Kennedy (TKO), Lyoto Machida (KO), ‘Jacare’ Souza (SD), and Chris Weidman (KO).

Romero then lost a five-round unanimous decision to Robert Whittaker in their interim UFC Middleweight Championship bout, a very close fight. Next came another interim title bout, this time against former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold.

Romero missed weight for this bout and was ineligible to win the title considering, but that didn’t stop him from KO’ing Rockhold, again in round three. Since this however, Romero’s lost his last three straight to Whittaker in their rematch, Paulo Costa, and Israel Adesanya, resulting in his pink slip.

It’s unfortunate because many people believe he won two of those fights. Hell, some even believe he won all three.

Let’s set the record straight though, he did beat Whittaker that second time, and the Costa fight was so close it could’ve been a draw, there’s no robbery there. Romero did not beat Adesanya however, he lost that fight.

If we could have an MMA time machine, a 2007-2013 Anderson Silva versus a 2015-2016 Romero, man that fight would’ve been fireworks!

9. Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson

One thing’s for certain, this would’ve been a big one!

Alexander Gustafsson is the best light-heavyweight ever to have never won a major world title. He gave both Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier their toughest fights, up until Jones was forced to fight clean and Cormier fought his rematch and trilogy against Stipe Miocic anyway. Many even believe he beat Jones that first time around.

‘The Mauler’ is a long, lanky, elite striker. His boxing is some of the best in the sport, especially MMA-specific boxing, and he had some pretty great kicks to go along with it. He throws punches like someone that’s been hitting pads their entire life, they just roll right off his shoulders.

Gustafsson stands 6’5” and boasts a 79” reach, that may have been tough for Silva to overcome. The reason there are some light-heavyweights on this list is because, well, in his prime, Silva went up to 205 lbs three times and secured first-round knockouts all three times.

This would have been an incredible fight, and honestly, one of Silva’s tougher opponents on this list. ‘The Mauler’ is about as good of a striker as you’ll find today that didn’t come from a kickboxing background. He did however come from a boxing background, where he won a few amateur titles.

It would’ve been insane to watch these two go at it on the feet.

The one time Silva fought someone with a longer reach than himself, he was KO’d, and then TKO’d in the rematch due to breaking his leg.

He was clowning Weidman in that first fight though, which is surely the reason he lost. He was picking Weidman apart handily, up until that left hook landed while he was taunting the New York native.

Anywhere from around 2012 to 2017 would have been the perfect time for this match up, had Silva not fallen off four years prior to the latter date.

8. Luke Rockhold

Luke Rockhold is one of the greatest middleweights to ever live. He started out his career as a grappler after competing in, and winning some grappling tournaments.

Though he initially went 1-1 to start his career, he won his next six fights, all six via finish, before challenging ‘Jacare’ Souza for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.

Rockhold won that fight via unanimous decision, and defended the belt against Keith Jardine and Tim Kennedy before crossing over to the UFC with the rest of the Strikeforce alums.

Rockhold was KO’d in his UFC debut by a TRT infused Vitor Belfort, but went on a four-fight finish streak immediately afterward, defeating the likes of Costa Philippou (TKO), Tim Boetsch (kimura), Michael Bisping (guillotine choke), and Lyoto Machida (rear naked choke).

He wasn’t even picking up where he left off in Strikeforce, this was a constantly improving Luke Rockhold that was more dangerous every time we saw him.

This awarded him a title shot at then undefeated champion Chris Weidman, who he TKO’d in round four to become the UFC Middleweight Champion. His reign however was very short-lived, unfortunately.

Rockhold was initially slated against Weidman for his first title defense, an immediate rematch of course, but Weidman withdrew from the bout with an injury and was replaced by Michael Bisping. Rockhold overlooked Bisping because for one he didn’t like him, and for two, he’d already beaten, and finished him.

This led to Rockhold being knocked out in round one, and he’s gone just 1-2 since. If he didn’t underestimate Bisping the second time around, it’s a wonder how long he would’ve been on top. Rockhold’s chin was never great, but it never recovered after that fight.

In the middle of his finish streak inside the octagon is when this match up would have been at its best. A prime Anderson Silva versus a 2014-2015 Luke Rockhold. That left kick Rockhold possessed is insane; he’ll throw it to the legs, body, head, and arms of his opponents, and it always landed with a considerable amount of impact.

Rockhold’s ground game is also at an elite level, perhaps even better than his striking. He wrestled for an NCAA Division III school, until he decided to trade it in to focus on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu full-time.

He’s since become a black belt in the art, and as you can see, he’s submitted some pretty high level fighters. Bisping had never been submitted before, and Machida’s been a BJJ black belt for over a decade.

Where Rockhold was at his best was on the ground, on top. His submissions of all sorts were always there, and he had some of the best ground-and-pound and back mounts this sport has ever seen. He was straight up mean when he was on top of his opponents.

7. Gegard ‘The Dream Catcher’ Mousasi

Gegard Mousasi is perhaps the most underappreciated fighter in mixed martial arts history, he can do it all, he’s about as elite of an opponent as anyone could face.

Mousasi came to the UFC with a record of 33-3-2, having already become the Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion, DREAM Middleweight & Light-Heavyweight Champion, and Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Champion.

He left the UFC on a five-fight win streak with four knockouts, and has since become a two-time Bellator Middleweight Champion, and he defended the title in each reign against a Bellator Welterweight Champion.

You may think he’s trying to pick fights with lesser competition because they’re smaller, but he’s fought as high as heavyweight before. He submitted Mark Hunt in DREAM for instance, and as you see, he’s won a couple light-heavyweight titles.

Not to mention, the two Bellator champions he defended his belt against were Rory MacDonald and Douglas Lima, two of the most skilled cagefighters out there.

Mousasi also holds victories over the three men to defeat him in the UFC. Former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida defeated him in the UFC via unanimous decision, a fight he avenged in Bellator via split decision.

He was submitted (guillotine choke) by ‘Jacare’ Souza, who he’d knocked out for the DREAM title previously, and he was TKO’d by Uriah Hall in a fight he was dominating, but came back to TKO Hall in the rematch.

Though Mousasi and Silva have fought outside of the middleweight division, that’s where this fight would most likely be contested, 185 lbs. That’s where they’re both at their best.

Anywhere from around the time Mousasi went on his five-fight win streak in the UFC, up until now, 2016-2020, that’s when this fight would be at its best, should Silva still be on top. It’s too bad father time is a thing.

6. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson

‘Rampage’ Jackson ruled the 205 lb division for some time, and that’s obviously where this fight would take place. After racking up a 12-5 record with PRIDE, which included knockout victories over Kevin Randleman and Chuck Liddell, he fought once for WFA, defeating Olympian Matt Lindland, before joining the UFC roster.

Jackson KO’d Marvin Eastman in his promotional debut, before getting a title shot at then champion Chuck Liddell. ‘Rampage’ KO’d Liddell in their rematch, violently this time, making it just 1:53 into round one, and he was now the UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion.

‘Rampage’ then defended his title against fellow PRIDE standout, and PRIDE champ-champ Dan Henderson, who he defeated via unanimous decision. He then lost his title to Forrest Griffin, before defeating Wanderlei Silva (KO) and Keith Jardine (UD).

The knockout victory over Wanderlei Silva was probably a better feeling for him than winning his title or defending it. Wanderlei Silva had finished Jackson twice in PRIDE, and he was able to get a vicious knockout this time around.

Around this time is when it would’ve been nice to see Anderson Silva face Jackson. Anywhere from after he won the belt, right up until he fought Rashad Evans, 2007-2010. Silva was still in his prime at this time.

Whether these 205 lb match ups are title fights or not, it doesn’t really make a difference. We all know Silva was good enough to win that belt too, it’s more so than anything just being able to see these fights.

5. ‘The Axe Murderer’ Wanderlei Silva

It’s too bad that around the time ‘The Spider’ won the title, Wanderlei Silva’s prime was just about to leave him. However, if Wanderlei had not taken the Mirko Cro Cop fight in 2006 and came over to the UFC right before he took that fight, he could’ve been Silva’s first title defense.

‘The Axe Murderer’ will forever be known as one of the scariest legends our beloved sport has ever seen. During his peak, he went 16-0-1 (1 NC) across 18 fights, with 14 of those victories coming via knockout.

Wanderlei Silva was the longtime PRIDE Middleweight (205 lbs) Champion, spanning nearly five years of title defenses.

The sheer power he possessed, along with his own style of Muay Thai he liked to use, he was a tough go for anyone. Hell, he knocked ‘Rampage’ Jackson out twice, while Jackson sits at 2-0 against Chuck Liddell.

These two Silva’s were teammates early on, while they both trained at Chute Boxe Academy, but they were only teammates for the first five or six years of their respective careers, as Anderson Silva left that camp in 2003.

4. Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell

‘The Iceman’ is another one of those guys that went out of their prime just as Silva was coming up. Silva won the title from Rich Franklin in October of 2006, while Liddell was still on top of his division.

Liddell secured one more successful title defense in that time, against Tito Ortiz in their rematch, before losing the belt. This is another one where if we knew how good Silva was at the time, this would have been an epic fight to make, perhaps even the biggest in UFC history at the time.

Liddell has two different karate black belts, Kajukenbo and Koei-Kan, he’s an NCAA Division I wrestler, and he has a kickboxing record of 20-2, having won a few titles in that sport as well. Mix that with Silva’s striking and grappling abilities, and this would’ve made for an absolutely massive fight for both men.

Make no mistake though, this fight would have played out on the feet. Liddell only ever used his wrestling defensively, Silva only ever used his BJJ when he was taken down, and they were both straight up assassins that won most of their fights via knockout.

If a 2004 version of Liddell could have faced a 2010 version of Silva, man, how would that have went?

3. Fedor Emelianenko

This is the only heavyweight on the list, but he’s on here for a good reason. Silva walked around at about 225-230 lbs, the same weight Emelianenko would weigh in at. Not only that, but they were both considered the greatest of all-time while they were on top of their respective divisions.

There was talk about making this fight at the time considering, but it never came to fruition, just like Emelianenko versus Brock Lesnar never came about either, most likely to the blame of Emelianenko’s manager.

Emelianenko was on top of the world for a considerable amount of time. He’d only lost once, his fifth professional fight, and it was a TKO due to a cut just 17 seconds into the fight. Emelianenko avenged that defeat just over four years later in the middle of his legendary run.

He had a record of 31-1 (1 NC) at his best, the loss obviously of which was avenged, and the no contest came against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who he also defeated twice.

Most people didn’t believe fighters outside of the UFC were elite talents for a long time, but Emelianenko was the one exception. PRIDE had the superior heavyweight division at the time, and while he took fights against giants that weren’t high level fighters, he also fought most of the best heavyweights of his era.

Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture, and Frank Mir are the three heavyweight fights that would’ve been great to see him in, but that time has long passed unfortunately. At his best, he was pretty much undefeated in 33 fights, he was a four-time Combat Sambo World Champion, and a multiple-time European and Russian Combat Sambo Champion.

Emelianenko won the PRIDE and WAMMA Heavyweight Championships; he defended his PRIDE title three times, and his WAMMA title twice. He also won the 2001 RINGS Absolute Division five-fight gran prix, as well as the 2004 PRIDE heavyweight gran prix.

Emelianenko was on top for ten years, and didn’t lose until he was 33-years-old. Once coming to Strikeforce, he KO’d surging talent Brett Rogers, who had all sorts of hype around him. He then lost his next three however to Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva, and Dan Henderson.

He’s since gone 8-2 after having his three-fight skid. Around the time Emelianenko started competing in the United States, 2009-2010, is when this fight would have been great to see. Silva was on top for the last three-plus years of Emelianenko’s prime, any time during that era would’ve been the perfect time for this fight.

2. Jon ‘Bones’ Jones

Jon Jones was in many peoples eyes the best fighter in the history of mixed martial arts since his early-to-mid 20’s. He won the title against a true legend in ‘Shogun’ Rua at just 23-years-old, becoming the second-youngest world champion in MMA history.

This was one of the most dominant displays any of us will ever see, and he hasn’t lost since.

Actually, Jones is 26-1 (1 NC), but he hasn’t ever lost a fight. The defeat came via DQ in a fight he was dominating, a fight that honestly should’ve been stopped before he even had the chance to throw that illegal elbow, and the no contest stems from someone he already defeated prior, Daniel Cormier.

However, Jones has the most tainted legacy in all of combat sports, as he was a steroid abuser for some time. There’s no telling when exactly Jones started abusing PED’s, but he has failed three steroid tests, as well as failing once for estrogen blockers.

That’s not to mention all these Turinabol tests he’s popped for that USADA ignores. It’s fine they ignore them though, he’s obviously clean now; his body doesn’t look the same, his composition looks soft in comparison to before, and his body of work sure doesn’t look the same either.

Nonetheless, he had five title defenses racked up before Silva lost to Chris Weidman the first time. After Jones defeated ‘Shogun’ Rua, ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, and Chael Sonnen, this fight would’ve made all the sense in the world in the middle of 2013.

Jones’ frame, not to mention their bodies of work at this time, would have made for perhaps the greatest fight of all-time. That’s a stretch, we know, but it can’t be denied. It certainly would’ve had the potential.

They’re arguably the two best fighters in the history of the sport. Silva staying around as long as he has, along with the fact they’ve both popped for PED’s, most don’t keep them as No. 1 anymore. At least Silva’s positive test was after he broke his leg.

1. Georges ‘Rush’ St-Pierre

This is the man most, including us at MyMMANews, believe to be the greatest mixed martial arts fighter of all time.

‘GSP’ did everything correctly, in and out of the octagon. He’s the most humble man you’d ever meet, and he’s as skilled at fighting as anyone you’d ever meet. St-Pierre got his start in karate, where he now holds a black belt in Shidokan, as well as a 3rd-degree black belt in Kyokushin.

St-Pierre also boasts a black belt in Gaidojutsu, Greg Jackson’s fighting system, and a 1st-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Not only this, not only does he have two stand up black belts, a grappling black belt, and a well rounded black belt, but he learned how to wrestle better than anyone else in the sport.

His athleticism aided him with this, but it’s crazy. For someone who never wrestled a day in their life until getting into MMA, to out-wrestling talents like Matt Hughes twice, Josh Koscheck twice, Jon Fitch, Jake Shields, and Johny Hendricks, it was beautiful to see.

St-Pierre is the most notorious takedown artist this sport has ever seen, he still holds the record for most takedowns secured in UFC history at 90.

‘GSP’ is perhaps the most special fighter of all-time. Conor McGregor has a claim to that as well, but he’s right up there. He’s afraid of fighting, which makes him sharp, and he out-skilled everyone he ever fought.

He also out-boxed a couple of the best boxers in the sport such as BJ Penn and Nick Diaz, St-Pierre really could do it all, and dominantly.

At one point, St-Pierre had won 33 rounds straight, some of them 10-8’s, and against the top talents in the world, many of which would still be top ten contenders today, had they come up in this era.

‘GSP’ retired back in November of 2013 after defeating Johny Hendricks, but came back in November of 2017 to challenge then champion Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight Championship.

This fight was incredibly impressive. It was hard for anyone to out-wrestle Bisping. CB Dollaway secured just two of eight attempts, and Bisping was right back up each time. Chael Sonnen secured four of seven, and was taken down himself in their battle.

Tim Kennedy had the most success out-wrestling Bisping, securing five of eleven takedowns, but it’d been some time since that happened, and honestly, though he didn’t make excuses for it, he didn’t show up that night. Bisping at his best probably would’ve smashed Kennedy, but that’s neither here nor there, and that’s no disrespect to Kennedy.

‘GSP’ secured three takedowns out of three attempts against Bisping, and actually kept him down there longer than most would’ve expected. He also picked up his first finish in nine years, as he submitted (rear naked choke) Bisping in round three after hurting him on the feet.

That karate base St-Pierre has made it easier for him to transition into MMA. He’s constantly bouncing back and forth between his feet, they’re forced to understand range like no other. It makes takedown entries much more difficult to defend, and much easier to get deep in on.

Not to mention that piston of a jab he has, which is the best in MMA history, also stemmed from that karate base. The whole point sparring thing can be incredibly effective if you know how to do it.

Silva has a black belt in Muay Thai, as well as a 5th-degree black belt in Taekwondo. He also boasts a 3rd-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

As you see, they don’t have the same exact black belts, but they do both have two black belts in striking arts, and they’re each elite BJJ black belts. That, along with their long reigns of pure dominance make this the most compelling fight in UFC history.

The way St-Pierre could out-class all of the best in the world, the way he’d just shut them down and dominate them, it was really something to behold during his peak.

The same could be said for Silva, only he finished all but two of his opponents, and St-Pierre won decisions against all but two opponents since recapturing the UFC Welterweight Championship.

‘GSP’ was never much of a finisher since capturing the belt, he was prior, but he wanted to make sure he kept his title at all costs. Some people would complain about how he never finished fights, but really, watch his fights. He’s defeating the very best in the sport with the very basics of MMA, a jab and a double leg.

St-Pierre of course used more tools and weapons than that, but that’s mostly what he resorted to, and it worked. No one could get past it. He limited his skill set so much, and still dominated everyone. That’s a truly special thing.

When it was all said and done, ‘GSP’ had ruled his division for six-straight years, he had nine consecutive title defenses, and when he came back four years later, he became a two-division world champion, capturing the UFC Middleweight Championship.

Silva had ruled his division for seven years, and racked up a total of ten consecutive title defenses. He really had eleven, but Travis Lutter missed weight in his first title defense and it was made a non-title bout considering.

At least nowadays they’ll just make whoever missed weight ineligible to win the title and it’d still be considered a defense, should the champion win. ‘The Spider’ also moved up to 205 lbs three times in that span, and walked away with first-round knockouts in all three.

Anderson SilvaThe first of which was over the surging, fellow knockout artist James Irvin. The second was against former champion Forrest Griffin, and the third was Stephan Bonnar, who though wasn’t the best fighter out there, he’d never been finished, and all of his defeats came to current or former world champions.

Silva made it look easy, as he became the first man to finish The Ultimate Fighter I finalist, and he obviously defeated The Ultimate Fighter I Champion in Griffin.

Silva drove his knee straight through Bonnar’s solar plexus toward the end of round one, and that was all she wrote. That was one of those finishes where you wondered if the guy that just got finished died. It was absolutely brutal.

Anderson SilvaWhen thinking of this fight, it’s so crazy to imagine all the ways it could go. These are two of, if not the two most skillful talents this sport has ever seen. If there was a top three, it’d be these two and Demetrious Johnson.

One could watch Silva’s first fight with Chael Sonnen and think to themselves, ‘well, Sonnen out-wrestled Silva easily. St-Pierre could do that without being submitted.’ Then others could think, ‘well, Carlos Condit almost kicked St-Pierre’s head off his shoulders in round three of their fight and come incredibly close to finishing him. If Condit could do that, Silva could do the same, and get the finish with it.’

Anderson SilvaQuestions, questions. It’s too bad we never got to see any of these, but particularly this one. St-Pierre stated many times when asked by reporters about this fight that he’d want to take the proper time to put the weight on, and that he wouldn’t plan on returning to 170 lbs should that happen.

He wasn’t kidding. Look what happened when he came back; he put weight on, though not properly, and he never went back to 170 lbs, or 185 lbs for that matter.

Don’t get it mixed, Anderson Silva fought the best of his generation, but considering he’d done well at light-heavyweight, there are a few names he never got to.

Anderson SilvaSome of the reason was because they were in different promotions, others because they peaked at a different time than Silva, and others because apparently one party wasn’t keen on the match up. Georges St-Pierre declined the Silva fight, and Silva declined the Jon Jones fight.

There were also fights like Michael Bisping, had he fought Silva earlier, how would it have went? That certainly could’ve happened, as Bisping was on top of the middleweight division pretty much since moving down from 205 lbs.

Another is Israel Adesanya, again, someone he did fight, but what if a 2010 version of Silva fought the 2020 versionAnderson Silva of Adesanya? Daniel Cormier’s another one we wonder about. How would the outcome have looked had he taken Chris Weidman seriously?

There will always be questions in this sport, father time will always remain undefeated, and some mystery fights just never come to fruition. Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson is another great example of that.

We lost two greats of the sport in 2013, with Georges St-Pierre retiring, and Anderson Silva’s reign coming to an end. Now, we’ve lost two greats in this year of 2020, with both Henry Cejudo and Khabib Nurmagomedov retiring, having vacated their titles.

It’s unfortunate, but that’s the sport. There will be new talents to take their place, but we’ll never get another one of any of those four.

If you enjoyed this piece, please check out 10 Georges St-Pierre Fights We Never Got.

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