MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White believes Brazilian fighter Anderson “The Spider” Silva is comparable to former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and basketball legend Michael Jordan.
After watching Silva easily defeat veteran fighter Stephan Bonnar in the main event of UFC 153, White told ESPN that he has no doubt that “The Spider” is the greatest fighter of all time.
“It’s just unbelievable. Nobody does that. Nobody. Nobody in this sport is able to do that. That’s why when I get these guys sometimes who say, ‘I don’t know, Anderson Silva may not be the best...’ Are you out of your mind?” White said.
“Nobody can do what this guy can do. He’s the greatest of all time,” he added.
White said that Silva was doing things inside the Octagon that were comparable to what Tyson and Jordan achieved in their prime.
“I’m a huge Mike Tyson fan, and in Tyson’s heyday when he was executing people, and you were just wondering how long it was going to be before he knocked someone out,” he related.
“It’s like Michael Jordan. Even the games he played that didn’t mean a lot, he still did a lot of great (stuff),” White added.
Against Bonnar, Silva was masterful, even toying with the former Ultimate Fighter finalist before eventually deciding to finish the fight towards the end of the opening round.
“What kind of guy does that? Like that spinning back kick where he steps to the side and then steps back... He just kind of laid in there, took some shots, let him hit him, he was moving his head and then playing with him,” White said. “And then, the minute he said, ‘I’m done,’ it was done.”
“Anderson Silva just does amazing things that nobody else can do,” White stressed. “I’m telling you right now: Watch every fight he has, enjoy every moment that he’s here because when he’s gone, you’re going to regret it.”
White is now hoping that he can get Silva to fight UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones, one of the few fighters in the world who is thought to have a chance of defeating the “Spider.”