There are very few, if any, who have accomplished as much as Anderson Silva. Anderson Silva has been a force to be reckoned with in the MMA world since he began his journey. He showed promise in the Pride organization but never really evolved into the fighter that we all know him as. Some speculate that the reason for that was that he had difficulties getting big production fights because of his gym.
He trained under the world-famous Chute Boxe academy, the very same gym the Pride middleweight champ and legend Wander lei Silva (no relation) trained. Those speculators had the opinion that they didn’t want to have Anderson fight his fellow teammate and that there was a conspiracy to hinder Anderson’s rise.
True or not, the fact was still that Anderson was not getting the fights he deserved. He blamed Chute Boxe and Wandered lei for that and moved to another gym, training under the legendary Nogueira Bros.
After a few fights, he fought in America for the UFC. Anderson exploded onto the scene, knocked out home favorite Chris “The Crippler” Leben (who is known for his chin) in the very first round. After the Leben fight, he earned a title shot where he destroyed the legendary Rich Franklin again in the first round, making him the middleweight crown he has not parted with since.
Anderson has defended it six times, but only five times officially due to Lutter not making weight. Anderson beat Marquardt and Franklin once again with relative ease BUT showed weakness over Dan Henderson and Travis Lutter when both were able to out-wrestle him. He is strictly a counter striker. He has only knocked out aggressive opponents.
There are classifications in boxing to describe styles that I believe crosses over to MMA very well. In MMA, there are many striking styles like Muay Thai, Karate, Western Boxing, Western Kickboxing, Savate, TKD, MMA Striking, Vale Tudo, and many many more. But does every Muay Thai fighter fight the very same way? Of course not! That is where the boxing classes come into hand. Boxing has the following styles.
They usually like to stay on the outside, hitting with jabs and straights (and also leg kicks–or quick kicks in MMA) and using footwork to avoid hits. They need to have reach, footwork, reflexes, and hand speed. Notable boxing out fighters is Gene Tunney and Muhammad Ali. Notable MMA out soldiers are Rich Franklin, Lyoto Machida, or Keith Jardine.
They attempt to stay in close and reign in hooks and uppercuts. They are also called pressure fighters because they always push the pace and don’t give you a chance to back off and re-evaluate. Infighters generally is the shorter fighter and have a shorter reach, which makes the fighter with the longer arms punch awkwardly, with less power and kicks impossible. Infighters need an excellent chin because they catch a lot of hits attempting to get close sometimes.
A fighter with good head movement has a significant advantage at getting up close, by slipping and dodging hits. They need to have aggression, chin, head movement, and cardio. Notable boxing infighters are Jack Dempsey, Mike Tyson (in his early career), Joe Frazier, and Rocky Marciano. Notable MMA infighters are Wander lei Silva, Matt Serra, Quinton Jackson, and Dan Henderson.
Puncher, not a very good name to convert to MMA because many MMA punchers throw kicks. But it is THE most well rounded striking style. Punchers can be useful from close range and at probing distance. A puncher usually resembles an outfitter but generally has less footwork and is not as mobile. They need to have knockout power and excellent ring control.
They tend to wear opponents down with combinations but can gain the knockout with one hit. A puncher needs to have excellent skills in all aspects of striking. Notable boxing punchers are Sugar Ray Robinson, Manny Pacquiao, and Joe Louis. Notable MMA punchers are Chuck Liddell, Thiago Silva, and Mirko Cro Cop.
They usually have massive power and quickly knock out opponents with one hit. They typically have a good chin because they have a lack of head movement. Sluggers are generally less respected by the fans who are educated in the sport, but some show a lot of heart and are an exception. The awkward, slow strikes are notorious for being countered. Sluggers will generally lose an entire fight UNTIL they land the big hit and finish it. Notable boxing sluggers are George Foreman, Max Baer, Mike Tyson (in his late-career). Distinguished MMA sluggers are Tank Abbott, Chris Leben, Phil Baroni, and Brock Lesnar.
Counter strikers are just that. They usually wait for a fighter to throw a sloppy or telegraphed hit, and capitalize. They use their defensive skills to block or dodge punches to create openings. Most generally like to get on the inside, but some will fight on the outside when fighting an opponent who is an Infighter.
They need excellent skills, knowledge of striking, speed, and the ability to perceive the hits before they threw. Notable boxing counter strikers are James Toney, Floyd May weather, Jr., and Roy Jones. Jr. Renowned MMA counter strikers are Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianenko. Chuck Liddell consider by some to be a counter striker.
Style matchups and Math
I promise I am getting to the point. These rules are generally accurate, but there are always ways around the rules, right? Generally, the following happens.
Infighters> Out fighters
Counter Strikers> Sluggers and Out fighters
Puncher’s> Infighters and Sluggers
So with these being the general rules, I think that the best person to beat Anderson would be an Infighter that has an excellent Thai Clinch defense. He also needs to have swift and very accurate hands. He needs to try not to throw many kicks because they easily telegraph and easily countered.
When Anderson is getting outstruck, he likes to taunt and cause the opponent to chase him. When pursuing, you are more likely to telegraph, ESPECIALLY, if you frustrate. Anderson Silva is a VERY one-dimensional striker and can be outstruck. I believe once someone does it once, it will be the beginning of the end of his career. The Infighter needs to mix up his hits and try to stay away from repetitiveness.
For example, he needs to balance how many hooks, jabs, straights, and uppercuts he throws. Hooks and uppercuts easily counter if thrown one after the other. The fighter needs to throw many combos and try to limit each to only 2 or 3 hits. Even though the Infighter is usually aggressive, he needs to know when to stop pursuing and let Anderson get frustrated, which he is known to do.
So this is my guide book to how to beat Anderson Silva. In my opinion, this is the best way to beat him. He is a great champ, but I think he, like every other fighter, can be overcome. Let’s see if I’m right.