The Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder grew up in Curitiba, Brazil, where the majority of the populace is of fair-skinned, European descent. Since he came from a poor family, Silva first learned jiu-jitsu by rolling with neighbors who could afford the training. In the professional mixed martial arts realm, Silva’s resume speaks for itself. Regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, “The Spider” debuted in the Octagon with a knockout of Chris Leben on June 28, 2006. In his next fight, he defeated Rich Franklin to become the promotion’s 185-pound king -- a title he has not relinquished in 14 bouts since, all while making the difficult look ridiculously simple. Outside of surviving a harrowing four-plus rounds against antagonist Chael Sonnen at UFC 117, Silva’s greatest challenge has been combating boredom. Some potential major hurdles loom on the horizon, including super fights against Jon Jones or Georges St. Pierre -- or both.
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