Anderson 'The Spider' Silva (born April 14, 1975) is a Brazilian professional mixed martial arts fighter and the current UFC Middleweight Champion. He is the current Cage Rage World Middleweight champion and is the longest-reigning champion in the promotion. He once was a member of the famed Chute Boxe Academy, but separated himself from the camp to form the Muay Thai Dream Team. He has competed in UFC, PRIDE Fighting Championship, Shooto, and Cage Rage, and holds wins over fighers such as Rich Franklin, Hayato Sakurai, Carlos Newton, and Lee Murray. Silva is generally considered one of the top fighters at 185 lbs in mixed martial arts, and is also thought to be one of the most dangerous strikers in the sport.
Martial arts background
Anderson Silva began his martial arts training in Taekwondo at the age of 14.
Although known primarily for his skills in Muay Thai, Silva is also well-versed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In 2005, Anderson Silva earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Mixed martial arts career
Silva fought in the Mecca organization in Brazil. Silva lost his first fight to Luiz Azeredo by decision. After that fight, he went on a nine-fight winning streak, defeating six of those opponents within the time limit allotted. His first match in Japan was against Shooto Champion Hayato Sakurai. Silva was the first person to beat Sakurai, and became the new Shooto Middleweight(167 lb) Champion.
PRIDE Fighting Championships and Cage Rage
In 2002, Silva began fighting in PRIDE Fighting Championships. In his first fight with the promotion, he stopped Alex Steibling due to a cut resulting from a high kick. In his next match, he won via decision against the "Diet Butcher" Alexander Otsuka. At PRIDE 25, Silva faced Carlos Newton. Newton tried to shoot in on Silva, but was hit with a flying knee. Newton collapsed and Silva finished the fight with strikes, winning by technical knockout.
At PRIDE 26, Silva faced Daiju Takase. Considering his record at the time – with only four wins to seven losses – most predicted that Takase would not win. Surprisingly, Takase submitted Silva with a triangle choke late in the first round.
After his loss to Takase, Silva fought in other promotions around the world. On June 27, 2004, Silva fought Jeremy Horn and earned a clear decision victory, though Horn pulled his groin early in the first round. Three months later, Silva made his debut in the Cage Rage promotion in England. At Cage Rage 8 Silva fought and defeated UFC veteran – and noted striker – Lee Murray by decision.
That year, Silva returned to PRIDE on December 31. His opponent was Ryo Chonan. The fight was back-and-forth, with no fighter gaining a dominating advantage up until the third round, but Chonan executed a slick flying scissor heel hook, forcing Silva to submit.
After the loss to Chonan, Silva continued fighting in the Cage Rage promotion, as well as other promotions around the world. Silva defended his Cage Rage title against Curtis Stout before fighting in Hawaii's Rumble on the Rock promotion, where he fought Yushin Okami in the first round of the 175 lb tournament. Although he was labeled as the favorite to win the tournament, Silva lost his fight when he kicked Okami in the face from the guard position. Okami's knees were on the ground at the time, making the attack an illegal strike to the head of a downed opponent. Silva was disqualified, and returned to Cage Rage once again.
Although he was slated to fight Matt Lindland at Cage Rage 16, Lindland's commitments to the World Fighting Alliance prevented the match from taking place. Instead, Silva defended his championship against Tony Fryklund, winning the fight by knockout early in the first round.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Although speculation ran rampant about where Silva would sign next, the UFC announced in late April that they had signed Anderson Silva to a multi-fight contract, one of these fights believed to be for the Middleweight title. It wasn't long before the UFC started promoting Silva, releasing an interview segment almost immediately after announcing his arrival. 
Silva made his anticipated debut at Ultimate Fight Night 5 on June 28, 2006. His opponent was to be Chris Leben, a contestant from The Ultimate Fighter 1 reality show who had since gone undefeated in the UFC with five consecutive victories. Despite being a relatively unknown fighter in the United States, Silva made an emphatic debut when he knocked out Leben with a flurry of strikes, followed by a final knee strike at 49 seconds into the first round. In response to the victory, the UFC quickly tallied a poll on their main page, asking participants to select Silva's next opponent; the majority of voters selected UFC Champion, Rich Franklin.
Although it is unknown whether the UFC voters had any bearing on the situation, Silva was given his chance at the title at UFC 64 on 14 October 2006. Silva defeated Rich Franklin by TKO (Strikes) at 3:59 in the first round. Silva hit Franklin with knees to the body in the Muay Thai clinch, then broke Franklin's nose with a knee to the face. Unable to strike back, Franklin dodged the last of Silva's strikes before falling to the ground, ending the fight. Silva was then crowned the new UFC Middleweight Champion. Anderson Silva joins Ryoto Machida as the only other man to have beaten Rich Franklin.
His next fight will be against The Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Travis Lutter in Febuary 2007.