Just In 11 moments that defined Anderson Silva’s illustrious career MMA Life

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Anderson Silva, one of the most talented and beguiling champions to ever fight in the octgaon, once ruled the middleweight division over the course of nearly seven years from 2006 to 2013, which included 10 consecutive title defenses.

Silva (34-9 MMA, 17-5 UFC) returns to face Jared Cannonier on Saturday at UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro. In advance of his 45th MMA fight, we take a chronological look at 11 moments that defined the UFC legend’s career.

1. Flying in Japan

March 16, 2003

For many hardcore fans, this was the first clip of Anderson Silva’s highlight reels. Former UFC welterweight champ Carlos Newton had just bounced back from his infamous choke-slam loss to Matt Hughes and was following a line of early octagon stars to Japan’s MMA big league. It didn’t take long for Newton to put Silva on the canvas, and several minutes later, they hadn’t moved.

The fight’s outcome seemed written, but Silva showed just how small a window he needed to capitalize on his opponent’s weaknesses. When Newton pitched forward for a takedown, ready to put the fight back in his comfort zone after a standup, Silva launched the flying knee that shocked Newton – and the rest of us.

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