Anderson Silva, Cris Cyborg Both Successful in Boxing Returns

Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva, Spaten Fight Night

Two Brazilian MMA legends took to the ring on Saturday, June 15 in a pair of boxing spectacles that resulted in a win for one, and a strong showing for the other.

Cris Cyborg and Anderson Silva both had long reigns in their respective weight classes in MMA- Cyborg, in fact, continues to serve as the Bellator MMA women’s featherweight champ – and both have dabbled in boxing in recent years.

On Saturday, Cyborg put down an out-gunned Aria Wild at the O2 Arena in London, England, dropping Wild with a nasty right hand that capped off a thunderous combination. Wild appeared out of her depth, and learned what many of Cyborg’s MMA adversaries had in years past: the Brazilian’s power was no joke.

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen 3, if you wanted to connect it to their pair of UFC contests, rather bizarrely aired only in Brazil. Billed as “The Grand Finale of Anderson Silva,” the fight went the distance across five rounds.

Promoted by brewer Spaten, the card received little notice outside Silva’s home country, with fight fans questioning late Saturday where they could even watch it.

The exhibition match started with Sonnen coming on strong, going to the body and working his jab, with Silva keeping his back to the ropes, countering. “The Spider” was more selective in his attacks, compared to Sonnen’s volume. Late in the round, Silva complained about a punch to the back of the head, with the ref warning Sonnen, though the blow was purely accidental.

More often than not, Sonnen was hitting air with his attacks, Silva being the faster fighter. Sonnen’s form was a little less tight in the second, with the pace already seeming to get to him a little. In the third, Silva began to double up on his jab, hitting the mark repeatedly. That led to some showboating by the former middleweight champ in the fourth; Sonnen would tie things up, but wrestling his way to victory wasn’t an option here. Sonnen would go down that round, but it was more of a push, with Chael rolling back then getting straight up to his feet.

The fifth and final round saw Sonnen bloodied around the nose, then shell up at the final bell as Anderson Silva let his hands go. There was little question that Silva was the “winner,” though the fight amounted to an active sparring match. Exactly what an exhibition bout between two aged warriors should be, frankly.

No scores were announced, given the exhibition nature of the contest at Spaten Fight Night. Whether it is truly the “Grand Finale” of Anderson Silva remains to be seen.