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It has become increasingly easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding Anderson Silva’s upcoming bout with the undefeated Israel Adesanya in the UFC 234 co-main event on Saturday at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Silva looked inward for motivation, as the former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder has nothing left to prove at this late stage of his career.
As “The Spider” approaches his battle with Adesanya, here are some of the numbers that have come to define one of the greatest fighters of all-time:
2: Wins without a loss to start his professional career. Silva choked out Raimundo Pinheiro and knocked out Fabricio Camoes at Brazilian Freestyle Circuit 1 on June 25, 1997 in Campo Grande, Brazil.
4: Losses before joining the UFC. After beating Pinheiro and Camoes, Silva did not fight again until May 2000, when he suffered his first defeat at the hands of Luiz Azeredo at Mecca World Vale Tudo 1. He was later submitted by Daiju Takase at Pride 26 and Ryo Chonan at Pride Shockwave 2004 before being disqualified for kicking the downed Yushin Okami in the face at Rumble on the Rock 8.
9: Straight victories after suffering his first loss. Three of those wins were in Pride Fighting Championships. Silva TKO’d Alex Stiebling, decisioned Alexander Otsuka and KO’d former UFC welterweight champion Carlos Newton.
108: Significant strikes landed on Nick Diaz -- his biggest output in a single fight. Originally a decision victory for Silva, the result of this UFC 183 headliner was overturned to a no-contest when both men were flagged for banned substances. Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone, while Diaz tested positive for marijuana.
2: Wins needed to capture the UFC middleweight championship. Silva’s Octagon debut came against Chris Leben and served as a title eliminator, as he demolished “The Crippler” in 49 seconds at UFC Fight Night 5. The performance set up a showdown with Rich Franklin at UFC 64, where Silva stopped the champion with knee strikes inside the first round.
70: Combined significant strikes landed on Franklin in their two fights. Franklin, on the other hand, could only muster 32. On both occasions, Silva earned “Knockout of the Night” honors after finishing Franklin with knees.
44: Significant strikes landed against Chael Sonnen in their two meetings. Sonnen connected with 111. In their first encounter at UFC 117, Sonnen pummeled Silva with punches on the ground for four-plus rounds, only to be submitted with a triangle armbar in the fifth. In their UFC 148 rematch, Silva knocked out Sonnen in the second round.
2: Divisions in which he has fought in the UFC. Apart from middleweight, where he achieved great success, Silva also fought at light heavyweight. He faced the likes of James Irvin, Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar and Daniel Cormier at 205 pounds.
22: Appearances in the UFC, with a record of 17-4 and one no-contest. Silva holds numerous UFC records, including the longest title reign, longest winning streak, most wins at middleweight and most knockouts in title fights.