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UFC Vegas 12: Anderson Silva lists favorite UFC fights, including Chael Sonnen rivalry

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UFC 101 Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Anderson Silva has been in some of the greatest fights in UFC history and will look to add to his highlight reel later this evening (Sat., Oct. 31, 2020) at UFC Vegas 12 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, when “Spider” makes his final walk to the Octagon against No. 10 ranked middleweight contender Uriah Hall.

As the former UFC middleweight champion readies himself to walk off into the sunset it’s important to remember some of Silva’s greatest moments inside of the cage. Having won his first 16 UFC appearances, including 14 equally-impressive finishes and 10 dominant title defenses, there is quite a bit to look back on.

Luckily, Silva is here to help. The 45-year-old legend recently sat down with reporters for UFC Vegas 12’s virtual media day (h/t MMA Fighting) and discussed some of the biggest wins of his career.

First up was Silva’s light heavyweight clash with Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 back in 2009. It was Silva’s second visit to 205 pounds and one of the most memorable outings of his UFC career, as the Brazilian legend ended Griffin via first-round knockout.

“First of all, I need to say thank you to Forrest Griffin,” said Silva. “What’s special about this fight is I was watching whole tapes about Muhammad Ali fights and I remember I watched a lot of Muhammad Ali fights and I just said you know I think that’s the secret to make something good in this fight. The magic moment happened.

“I just need to say thank you to Forrest. This is the best moment in my life. Of course I have a lot of best moments but this is a very special moment, too.”

Silva’s second favorite UFC win came during his rivalry with Chael Sonnen. The two middleweights first collided at UFC 117 which saw Sonnen dominate Silva for the majority of five rounds. That was until “Spider” caught Sonnen in a triangle armbar with moments remaining in the fight to retain his middleweight title.

In the rematch at UFC 148 two years later Silva went back to his dominant ways and finished Sonnen with a second-round TKO. It ended one of Silva’s biggest chapters of his career, which also happened to be his tenth and final UFC middleweight title defense.

“First of all in this fight in particular with Chael, I’m very comfortable for talking about and I’m very happy to talk because Chael give me the energy for training hard for this fight,” Silva said. “I give the good energy for Chael for training hard. I think Chael complete me and I complete Chael in this fight. The best fight for the fans and especially in Brazil. It’s special for me and Chael, too.

“Thank you Chael. Thank you for everything. You’re an amazing guy. Hopefully I see you very soon and talk together about life, about kids. I know you have a kid right now. He starts to fight, I have two. Let’s go talk. This is an amazing sport. I’m so happy to stay here talking about us and thank you for giving me the great opportunity for fight with you, Chael.”

The third and final victory that stands out to Silva was his grudge match with fellow Brazilian legend Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. Silva ended up stopping “Phenom” in the very first round with an iconic front kick to the face. It is arguably the most impressive performance of Silva’s historic career.

“I think the fight with Vitor opened a lot of doors for Brazilian fighters,” Silva said. “This fight in particular help us to make the sport very popular in Brazil and help the future of the sport in Brazil. Vitor is a legendary fighter, a very good fighter.

“I just say thank you to Vitor because Vitor made the sport famous for a long, long time ago. Vitor is the first guy to come to the UFC and win and become champion in UFC. Of course Royce Gracie is the best ever but Vitor has a great story in the UFC and a great memory in the UFC. I need to say thank you to Vitor, too.”

Do you think Silva can add another victory to his UFC resume when he meets Hall later tonight in Las Vegas?

Sound off!

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 12 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.