The ‘Spider’ faced Chris Leben on only the fifth UFC Fight Night event ever on June 28th, 2006 from Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Silva would signal his arrival to the biggest MMA promotion in the world with an epic knockout that foreshadowed one of the greatest runs in the promotion’s history.
Here is what happened when Anderson Silva made his debut for the UFC on this day back in 2006 at UFC Fight Night 5 against Chris Leben.
Anderson Silva UFC Debut
As was usually the case for the original Fight Night shows, competitors from The Ultimate Fighter reality show were showcased on the night.
The card would see Rashad Evans take on fellow UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonner, and the opponent for Silva, Leben, was also an alum from the TUF series.
Leben and Silva would compete in the main event of the evening, with the enigma of ‘The Spider’ being welcomed in by the TUF fighter.
Before the contest, Leben would claim that he would be “sending [Silva] back to Japan, where the competition is easier,” which certainly would not end up being the case.
Within the first ten seconds of the contest, Silva had managed to snap Leben’s head back with his first two jabs.
The incredible footwork from the 185-pound legend saw Leben wildly swinging and getting inundated with counter punches.
The fight would only go on for 49-seconds, at which time Silva grabbed the neck of Leben getting ready for a Thai clinch before shooting his knee to his opponent’s chin, knocking him out.
If you’ve never seen Leben fight and you’re only basing it on this one fight, then you probably would think he’s a scrub. It’s worth noting that this is NOT THE CASE AT ALL, Leben was an incredibly skilled fighter at the time and was ascending the ranks of the Middleweight.
In reality, Silva was just that good.
You can check out the deadly knockout via the YouTube video below, which also showcases several incredible stoppages from the Brazilian fighter’s UFC career:
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