The 2023 class of the UFC Hall of Fame just got a whole lot more prestigious.
Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, on the short list of those in contention for greatest of all-time in MMA history, had his name announced during the broadcast of Saturday’s UFC 286 pay-per-view card in London. “The Spider” will be inducted into the pioneer wing and will join previously announced contemporaries Jose Aldo and Jens Pulver at the 2023 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will take place during the July 3-9 International Fight Week in Las Vegas.
“Anderson Silva is one of the greatest athletes of all time,” UFC president Dana White said. “Anderson’s 16-fight winning streak in the UFC, 10 successful title defenses and almost seven years as middleweight champion were one of the most remarkable things we’ve ever seen in professional sports. He was an absolute artist inside the Octagon, and it will be an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer.”
Silva (34-11, 1 NC) made a sensational UFC debut in 2006 when he knocked out Chris Leben in just 49 seconds. One fight later, he scored the first of two finishes against fellow middleweight legend Rich Franklin to capture the 185-pound belt and made a then-record 10 title defenses before yielding the crown to Chris Weidman in 2013.
The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil stayed relevant and dangerous into his mid 40s in one of the most celebrated and decorated careers in combat sports history, which included such iconic moments as his front-kick knockout of Vitor Belfort in 2011, his dramatic fifth-round submission of Chael Sonnen in 2010 and a virtuoso knockout of former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in 2009.
Silva remains a mainstay in the UFC record book owning promotional bests of longest winning streak (16), longest title reign (2,457 days), most middleweight knockdowns (13) and is tied for most knockouts at 185 pounds (8).
After turning pro in 1997, Silva won 17 of his first 21 fights and built a global reputation as a dangerous striker under the Pride, Shooto and Cage Rage banners before a much-hyped signing with the UFC. At his peak, Silva won 17 consecutive bouts overall from 2006 to 2012, which included 13 knockouts and two submission wins.