MMA legend Anderson Silva is finally inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame

The only thing that could be said on Saturday about the news that Anderson Silva was voted into the pioneer wing of the UFC Hall of Fame is: what took so long?

The former UFC Middleweight Champion, who last fought in MMA when he was stopped by Uriah Hall on October 31, 2020 in Las Vegas, is one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport and perhaps the most inspirational.

In the package that UFC showed during their broadcast of UFC 286 about Silva’s selection, numerous fighters spoke about how he redefined the game and inspired them to get into mixed martial arts:

Silva was 17-4 outside the UFC before making his debut against Chris Leben on June 28, 2006 in Las Vegas. There was huge hype surrounding Silva’s debut and it more than lived up to it, knocking out life with a vicious knee in just 49 seconds.

It took him just 2:59 in his next fight to stop Rich Franklin and win the UFC middleweight title. He won his first 16 UFC fights and made 10 successful title defenses.

He was one of the key athletes that helped bring the sport into the modern age and increase its popularity.

He was known as a vicious forward who took out a number of elite opponents, but he had the all-around game that made him a threat anywhere. He submitted Dan Henderson in the second round with a rear naked choke at UFC 82 on March 1, 2008. And then, in perhaps his most memorable moment, he finished Chael Sonnen with a triangle choke at 3:10 of round five in a bout he was behind on the scorecards.

Even in old age he had the will to succeed. After turning 40 in 2015, he fought Michael Bisping, Daniel Cormier, Derek Brunson, Israel Adesanya, Jared Cannonier and Hall, an incredible gauntlet for a fighter in his prime, let alone a plus-40.

Silva helped redefine the game and show what it means to be a pro. He will join Jens Pulver and Jose Aldo in the Class of 2023. MMA legend Anderson Silva is finally inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame

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