• UFC 126

Silva awaiting St-Pierre after stunning KO of Belfort

ESPN staff
February 6, 2011

Anderson Silva will do anything to leave a legacy in the UFC, and on Saturday at UFC 126 he produced arguably the most impressive knockout of his career to defend his middleweight title against Vitor Belfort.

Belfort was unlike any opponent Silva had ever faced in the Octagon. The challenger boasts world class striking, hand speed superior even to Silva himself, and he is a former two-weight champion. Yet within 3.25 minutes of the first round, he had suffered the first clean knockout of his 14-year career.

The chapters Silva has compiled in his illustrious career are forming into a novel so impressive that it seems fictional, and Saturday's knockout - via a front kick that landed flush on Belfort's chin - was practised with a well-known Hollywood actor.

"Steven Seagal helped me perfect that kick," Silva revealed. "That was a kick we were working on before I stepped in. This was a kick that I trained a lot."

As Silva stated in his post-fight interview, Belfort is a legend of MMA, who was creating headlines in the Octagon long before Silva's career truly began. The challenger started well too, clipping his compatriot on three occasions to suggest his greater speed may prove decisive - Silva had afterall been badly rocked by Chael Sonnen in his last fight.

A brief scramble saw both men loosen up, but just as the crowd settled back for a potential classic, Silva produced the moment that left 11,000 jaws wide open in disbelief. Showing supreme timing, the Brazilian launched a front kick that snapped the head of Belfort backwards as he crumpled in a heap, leaving Silva to land two more punches in order to force the stoppage.

Now Georges St-Pierre awaits, as long as the welterweight champion beats Jake Shields at UFC 129.

"It's looking like we are doing the Silva-GSP fight," said president Dana White. "If GSP wins his next fight, that will probably be the fight we'll do. Georges made it clear that he'll take the fight, and I think Anderson is ready to go, too. They're both champions. I've got to figure out the [Yushin] Okami part of this thing. Somebody is going to be pissed."

Commenting directly on Silva, White simply stated: "I think he's the best fighter in the world. When he does what he's capable of doing, you have nights like tonight. I've only seen that in a video game."

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