Is Silva the G.O.A.T.?

By Michael DiSanto

Anderson Silva’s spectacular first-round knockout win over former 205-pound champion Vitor Belfort solidified his kung fu grip on the claim of best fighter in the world, pound for pound.

Belfort represented the final unknown at 185 pounds, at least for the time being. That may change in time. Maybe even in the short term. But as I sit here today, I cannot think of a single person fighter that Silva “needs” to fight.

13 UFC bouts. 13 wins. Eight consecutive successful defenses of the title. Both of those stand as UFC records, by wide margins.

With nothing left to prove in the middleweight division, what else is there for Silva, other than focusing on establishing his legacy? He is lying if he claims that he doesn’t think about the label of Greatest of All Time. Of course he thinks about it. Every fighter wants to go down as the greatest to don a pair of vale tudo gloves. Silva is no different.

Again, Silva is universally regarded as the greatest fighter in the world, pound for pound, and he has owned that undisputed title for several years. But is he the greatest ever?

Randy Couture certainly has to be included in any discussion of the G.O.A.T. He has several career records of his own. Couture will forever go down as the first man to ever win titles in two different weight divisions—heavyweight and light heavyweight. He is the only man to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship three separate times. He is also the only man to win the 205-pound title twice. His nine wins in UFC championship bouts ties him with Silva and Matt Hughes.

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