Anderson Silva

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During a press conference for UFC 134, UFC President Dana White declared Anderson Silva "the greatest fighter in the history of Mixed Martial Arts." Before he signed the artwork offered here, Beyond the Cage met with Anderson at the legendary Black House Gym, a private training facility for elite fighters in Los Angeles, so he could review and approve the pieces featuring his image. During that memorable visit, we learned that not only is he the greatest fighter, but also that he has one of the greatest personalities in the sport.

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With 14 consecutive wins, Brazil born Anderson "The Spider" Silva holds the longest active winning streak in the UFC and the record for the longest winning streak in UFC history. He has been the UFC Middleweight Champion, since 2006.

He is currently ranked as the number one Middleweight in the world by multiple MMA publications, and both ESPN and Yahoo! Sports rank Silva as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Silva began martial arts training at the age of 14, studying Tae kwon do and earning a black belt by the age of 18. He is also a black belt in Judo as well as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, a rank he earned in 2006 from Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira who follows Gracie Lineage through Carlson Gracie.

Silva is an extremely well rounded fighter known primarily for his mastery of Muay Thai striking, which is considered to be one of the best in MMA. His striking accuracy, knockout power and ability to counterstrike make him a danger to his opponents. Silva's striking uses three major strengths: technical precision, the jab and transitions and movement. Silva switches from Southpaw to Orthodox with little drop-off in effectiveness. Although it has been claimed that his ground game is not as good as his stand-up, Silva has submitted notable grapplers, including Olympic wrestler Dan Henderson, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Travis Lutter and Olympic alternate Chael Sonnen.

The Spider's numerous awards and accolades include winning UFC Fight of the Night three times, Knockout of the Night three times, Submission of the Night two times, Unified UFC Middleweight and Pride FC Welterweight Championships, most consecutive title defenses (Eight), most successful title defenses (Eight), most consecutive wins in the UFC (13) and longest UFC title reign.

In June 2009, Silva was nominated for the 2009 ESPYS "Best Fighter" category. He won Sherdog's Beatdown of the Year for 2009 for his win over Forrest Griffin and in 2010 won MMA Live's Fight of the Year for his win over Chael Sonnen, which also won Fight of the Year at the World MMA Awards.