Many consider Bruce Lee to be the ‘father‘ of modern day mixed martial arts (MMA).
Being one of the first true practitioners and perfecting his craft in the early 1960's while sharing his knowledge with the world long before it was the ‘cool' thing to do, Lee, creator of the Jeet Kune Do fighting style, is an icon when it comes to the ever-growing sport and a very vital root to where it all began.
Many would say comparing any current MMA star to Lee would be nothing short of blasphemy.
However, if one would be forced to choose someone that can come close to filling those giant shoes and have the potential of being the ‘new' Bruce Lee, the consensuses top choice would probably be current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva.
With his discipline and dedication to learn and perfect his skills, putting them all on full display inside the Octagon, Silva has skyrocketed to the top of the MMA pound-for-pound list, leaving a trail of destruction along the way, making top fighters and former champions look like mere amateurs.
Patrick Cote, who fought Anderson at UFC 90 back in 2008, witnessed first-hand just how 'complicated' it is to fight someone the caliber of 'The Spider' and says going toe-to-toe with the 'new' Bruce Lee is a very ‘weird' experience.
From his conversation with Sherdog:
"It's very complicated to fight this guy because you never know what's going to happen or what he's going to do. We saw what he did Saturday night. Once again he did something new. He was staying against the fence and he was playing with Bonnar. Bonnar is no joke. Bonnar is a good fighter. He's tough. He's durable, and [Silva] was playing with him like a little kid. It's hard to explain how to fight him because if you go forward, he's behind you. You try to hit him, and he's not there. It's very, very weird. It's hard to hit him very clean with a very powerful shot. That's why it's hard to punch him very, very hard, because he's moving so fast and he's playing with the angles very, very well. You have to stay on your game plan. It's very, very hard. I remember [against] me, he was playing with his hands. He was doing some crazy footwork, like the new Bruce Lee or something like that, but I would stay on my game plan, but that was very, very hard for me because I like to go forward. I like to push the pace, but at the time, I knew that was exactly what he wanted."
Though the "Predator's" bout with Silva was anything but a barn-burner, Cote did make it all the way to the third round of their title fight before he blew out his anterior crucial ligament (ACL), forcing the referee to stop the contest.
This past weekend (Oct 13, 2012) at UFC 153, Anderson, much like he did with his bouts against Forrest Griffin and Yushin Okami, dropped his hands against Stephan Bonnar, daring him to give him his best shot, absorbing them while suffering little to no visible damage.
In the end, 'The Spider' displayed his dominance by cutting 'The American Psycho's' night short, knocking him out in the final seconds of the first round with a devastating knee to the chest and strikes to the head, proving, yet again, he is without a shadow of a doubt the best MMA practitioner walking the earth today.
A performance that would have undoubtedly made Bruce Lee proud.