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On This Day in MMA History in 2006: Anderson Silva Became the UFC MW Champ and Rich Franklin’s Worst Nightmare


(Anderson beginning several years and dollars worth of therapy for Rich. Photo credit: ESPN)

Five years ago today, a fighter who was relatively unknown at the time outside of hardcore fans who followed Japanese and British MMA, stepped into the UFC Octagon for the second time and emerged less than three minutes later as the promotion’s middleweight champion.

The event was UFC 64 and the fighter was Anderson Silva. His opponent was UFC poster boy Rich Franklin.

The fight represented the beginning of the “Anderson Silva era” as UFC color analyst Joe Rogan would later call it and to those who didn’t know who he was before, it represented the introduction of “The Spider” to the masses who had cut their teeth on mixed martial arts by watching The Ultimate Fighter.

Silva, a former Cage Rage and Shooto champion, utilized both the pinpoint accurate striking he displayed in his equally impressive knockout win over durable never-before-KO’ed slugger Chris Leben at UFN 5 four months later and his impeccable muay thai clinch game to control Franklin while punishing the then-champion with nose-crushing and rib-brusing knees. He made Rich look like an amateur sparring with a pro, and when the dust settled the crowd was left stunned by the dominant display by the UFC’s new 185-pound sheriff in town.

Until Chael Sonnen dominated him through four rounds last August at UFC 117, Silva won pretty much every round inside the Octagon and has done the same since that fight that he came back to win as well. No other fighter has risen to prominence in the UFC as quickly as Silva and it’s unlikely that another will. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Anderson is one of, if not THE best fighter to have ever competed in the sport.

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zhmmgg- October 15, 2011 at 6:52 am
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KINGMADE- October 15, 2011 at 12:09 am
ahh... the day the music died :(
myklhoey- October 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm
Ya what he said tho i do like bloofy elbow at times
RSparrow- October 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm
Fuck Bloody Elbow... and Fuck Steven Seagal, and Fuck Karma too
Mike Russell- October 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm
Talk to Bloodyelbow, RSparrow.... It seems they liked the idea so much that they ripped it off.
RSparrow- October 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm
Ya ya we know... can we look to the future now? Good articles but damn bro, we tryin to hit a quota or what?
mt59801- October 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm
Rich looks broken walking into the fight, he must have watched some tape and realized what he was in for
BossNasty- October 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm
Now we're talking an article that is spits the facts and keeps the author's personal opinion out of the article. So now the haters can hate on their own without the usual coaxing.
myklhoey- October 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm
Yap
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