This weekend, on February 27, at the O2 Arena former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva competes in London for the first time since 2006 when he collides with perennial British standout Michael Bisping.
On April 22, 2006, ‘The Spider’ made his last appearance on UK soil at Cage Rage 16 against Tony Fryklund, his final bout prior to joining the UFC. In what was the Brazilian’s fourth Cage Rage appearance, Silva defended the promotion’s middleweight crown having previously won the title with a unanimous decision victory over Lee Murray in 2004, before knocking out Jorge Rivera and Curtis Stout in 2005.
Silva’s first round stoppage of Fryklund continues to live on in infamy as one of the MMA icon’s most devastating performances. The American, Fryklund, was left stiffened on the canvas by a stunningly high calibre back-elbow strike, following an overwhelming Muay Thai based assault of unstoppable clinch work and flying knees.
When asked if his competitive return to London brought back the Cage Rage memories, Silva told MMA Plus; “Yes, it’s the energy, it’s so magical; the people and the fans here. I’m very happy.”
Photo by Jorden Curran