Will Age Catch Up With the Great Anderson Silva at UFC 126?

By Jonathan Snowden

Anderson Silva is one of the most gifted athletes ever to step inside the UFC Octagon. His debut against the tough Ultimate Fighter star Chris Leben set the tone for his entire record setting tenure – he made it look easy, dismantling the game but overmatched Leben in less than a minute. Since then, eleven consecutive wins have followed.

Middleweight champion Rich Franklin didn’t last two full rounds in his pair of fights with Silva. Both ended with devastating knees. Pride’s middleweight champion Dan Henderson fared a little better in his unification bout. He made it all the way into the second round before being choked out. Of his twelve opponents, ten have failed to go the distance with the champion, a record unparalleled in UFC history.

But Anderson Silva is only a man, subject to the most cruel master of all – father time. Silva is 35 and his athletic gifts are on a slow slide to oblivion. There were subtle signs that Silva was aging and I was concerned about him prior to the Chael Sonnen fight at UFC 117, afraid he had lost his edge:

“I worry about a fighter like Anderson Silva. He reminds me quite a bit of boxer Roy Jones. Both men rely on a physical edge, hyper speed reflexes and reaction time that makes it look like their opponents are moving in slow motion. At some point, that kind of fighter is bound to fall of a cliff. When it happens, it won’t be pretty.”

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