As in all sports, there are hallowed records that are romanticized by its fans like a cherished Babe Ruth autograph. Speaking of the Sultan of Swat himself, the Babe holds some of them most hallowed baseball records. A fellow Yankee, Joe DiMaggio holds arguably the toughest record to ever break — 56 consecutive games with a hit.
Well the sport of Mixed Martial Arts is no different. And the organization that has been around the longest, the UFC, holds some of its own hallowed records. Eight straight wins inside the organization and five straight title defenses are two of the most hallowed records in the UFC, if not the most, and on Saturday a certain fighter named Anderson Silva has a chance to break and tie both respectively.
Widely considered the sport’s pound-for-pound best fighter, Silva will be gunning for his ninth consecutive victory in the UFC when he defends his title against fellow middleweight and challenger Thales Leites. Currently “The Spider” shares the record of eight straight wins with Jon Fitch and UFC legend Royce Gracie. Gracie and Fitch both saw their streaks end in the pursuit of that elusive ninth win. On Saturday night Silva has a very good chance of owning one of the sports most hallowed records all by himself.
If Silva can get past his Brazilian brother Leites, he will also have tied another remarkable record of five consecutive title defenses held by future UFC hall-of-famer Chuck Liddell (who also happens to be on Saturday’s card). It is a remarkable achievement that seems to be going unnoticed with all the other UFC 97: Redemption headlines currently circulating through the media. It should not be.
With the win, Silva will have truly staked his claim as a hall-of-famer and he still will have so much of his fighting career left. Silva just celebrated his 34th birthday on Tuesday, and with a fire still burning inside him to compete, there is no telling what accomplishments he may yet still achieve in this sport. Who knows what future records “the Spider” may set?
Hopefully by Saturday night, fans will be more aware and understanding of what Silva is trying to accomplish and the legends he’s set to dethrone. It is truly an accomplishment to be celebrated and cherished not to mention what a great belated birthday present it would be.