The combat sports world has offered high praise for Anderson Silva following his devastating knockout victory over Tito Ortiz in a boxing match last weekend and former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has joined in.
Silva, who is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the history of MMA, has found huge success inside of the boxing since his UFC departure. This past June “Spider” upset former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in his first boxing match since 2005 (highlights HERE). Most recently, Silva made quick work of Ortiz in a lopsided co-main event on Triller.
Silva’s transition to the boxing ring has been nothing short of spectacular. His peers, including Bisping, have reached out in droves to pay their respect to one of the best to ever do it.
“Anderson Silva is one of the greatest martial artists that this human race has ever seen,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel (via MMA Junkie). “He is a modern-day Bruce Lee. Anderson Silva truly is one of the greatest of all time, and that is just a fact.”
While Ortiz is a complete shell of his former self and Silva was a massive favorite to capture victory in their recent boxing escapade it was still impressive to see “Spider” go to work. Ortiz was quite aggressive in his approach to the fight and it cost him dearly inside of the ring.
“Tito said he’s gonna go out there and he’s gonna punch a hole in his head and he’s a fighter and all the rest of it, and he ain’t gonna use none of that wing-chun bollocks on him,” Bisping said. “Well, that is not the way you fight Anderson Silva. You can’t go in against Anderson Silva and be aggressive … Anderson Silva’s timing is impeccable, his reflexes are cat-like, urban cat-like and the diversity of attacks that Anderson Silva has is mind-blowing.”
Bisping, who spent most of his UFC tenure chasing down Silva in the 185-pound division, acknowledges that “Spider” didn’t end his MMA career on the right note. In fact, Silva won just one fight in his last nine trips to the Octagon. It’s not the best of ways to exit the MMA game, but the things that Silva is doing right now inside of the boxing ring at the age of 46 is absolutely astonishing.
“For Anderson Silva to still be doing this, at this level, at 46 years old, after the career that he had in mixed martial arts – we all know the fall from grace that he had,” Bisping said. “He lost a few fights and then he ended up getting knocked out against Uriah Hall, it looked like it was over. But he really has had a rebirth and as a fan of Anderson Silva, and make no mistake, I am a fan of Anderson Silva, you have to be. How can you not respect the body of work that he had?
“And also the way that he carries himself. Of course, he had the little thing with the steroids and what not and you all know my view on that and trust me when I fought him, I let him know my thoughts on that, make no mistake. I punished him for it, I made a fool out of him, I insulted him to the highest degree. But still, that’s water under the bridge, and Saturday night, Anderson Silva looked absolutely fantastic. So well done to Anderson, there’s still life in the old dog yet.”