Anderson Silva is a UFC GOAT, but another impressive performance in the boxing ring does beg the question how good he could have been had he boxed all along.
The Brazilian dominated fellow MMA fighter and compatriot Bruno Machado in Dubai on Saturday night, but he couldn’t grab the victory due to the fact it was an exhibition fight.
The former UFC middleweight champion arguably won every single round against Machado and he desperately wanted the finish late on, but he could not find it.
Silva had superior movement and picked his shots in the early stages. It was quality over quantity of shots for ‘Spider’ and he looked confident and relaxed in the ring.
The two minute rounds didn’t help the flow of this fight. Silva had his own rhythm and that was largely behind a fairly soft jab, but it kept Machado busy.
From round four onwards, Silva upped the output and mixed his work from head to body beautifully. His work became far more aggressive in the middle to later rounds and Machado, while game, had no real answers.
Silva was switching stances frequently and was clearly operating at a level far beyond Machado. The legendary UFC star was pressing forward with some searing straights and Machado was simply playing defence as the fight wore on.
At the end of the fifth round, Silva dropped Machado after a flurry to the body and an overhand right.
Anderson Silva still throws hammers pic.twitter.com/CSQP76KmM8
— Caleb Cox (@Showtime43CC) May 21, 2022
Machado did enough to avoid the finish, but Silva was clearly disappointed that he didn’t get it. Either way, it’s another impressive outing for Silva from a skill perspective and after a relatively sad ending to his glorious MMA career, boxing continues to revitalise his name.
Jake Paul told talkSPORT last month that he would be paying attention to Anderson Silva’s fight and the 47 year old is in contention to be his next opponent.
Silva, 34-11 in MMA, reigned as a UFC middleweight champion for 2,457 days and successfully defended the belt a record 10 times.
He has now competed three times in boxing since stepping away from MMA. He defeated former WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez by split decision in June of last year and then needed less than 90 seconds to knock out former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz three months later.
His previous flirts with boxing before that saw a loss in 1998 and then a knockout in in 2005, both in his homeland of Brazil.
Machado is also an MMA fighter and has a 15-9 pro record. He has won six straight fights, including four for the UAE warriors promotion. Even he will know he was not the better man against Silva, though.