"To be a champion you must defend the title"
That was very popular sentiment that former UFC welterweight champion and UFC hall of famer Matt Hughes said. Basically it's one thing to win the gold but can you hold? or are you just a one hit wonder?.
The UFC light heavyweight championship has seen it's fair share of hot potato as we've seen Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Quinton Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Maurcio Rua and now Jon Jones hold it. The one common ground is that it's been a one and done situation.
One defense, pass it on.
UFC middleweight champion, UFC welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre and UFC lightweight champion Frankie are the only current UFC champions with two or more defenses. In fact Anderson Silva has defended his title a record 9 times.
I think a champion can easily be defined by one fight, let's look back at UFC 117 when the spider choked a loud mouth to succession.
The UFC champions are as follows- UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, UFC welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre, UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
That list not only is of champion but an honest completion of some of the best fighters in the world regardless of weight class or other promotions. Hands down the UFC houses the best fighters in any division pound for pound. The two which stand out the most are Anderson Silva and Georges St.Pierre who are also either #1 or #2 on anyones 'pound for pound' list (except Hellahectic).
These two are also the most contrerversial champions out of the group for perfomances as champions.
Anderson Silva has been so good he has made legit number one contenders look like toys for his play. He even made former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin look like an amateur. That is just how good the 'Spider' is at anytime. He was ridiculed by UFC boss Dana White following his successful title defense at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi against Damian Maia. He danced, showboated and embarrassed Maia for five rounds while picking shots easily. The real issue was the brand new partnership and debut in Abu Dhabi which had to have irked the UFC most. Their greatest attraction came up and put an unnecessary stinker on the canvas.
Enter Chael Sonnen.
Following UFC 112 the mixed martial arts world was rocked by the best trash talker it had see in middleweight number one contender Chael Sonnen. The comments he made fueled the most anticipated Anderson Silva fight ever. For weeks upon weeks these sound bites and bulletin board quotes had everyone wondering 'Can Chael Sonnen back up what he has said?' 'Is Anderson Silva going to kill Sonnen?'
UFC 117 was 'special'
For four and a half rounds we saw Sonnen smash up Anderson Silva like no one else had. He matched him standing up, maintained top control and rained down punches and he simply was amazing. In that same amazed breath we saw the moment that changed the perception of Anderson Silva.
A mistake by Chael opened up his worst nightmare of his professional career, the triangle choke. Anderson Silva used his lengthy legs and secured a deep choke to submit the Team Quest hype man. It was symbolic as the choke was put on the biggest shit talker this business has seen since maybe Tank Abbott.
Chael Sonnen brought out the very best in Anderson Silva and since the fight at UFC 117, we have seen Silva frontkick Belfort out cold and smash Yushin Okami at UFC: Rio. The world of MMA has changed it's frustration's to admiration's for the UFC middleweight king pin.
A fight which will be brought up whenever you or i discuss Anderson Silva and a fight which has made him the pound for pound king at this very moment.