Watch Anderson Silva’s evolution over 10 years

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Now with a cult following and “pursuing perfection, even while knowing that perfection is unattainable,” as he often says, superchampion Anderson Silva, 36, with 35 MMA fights and 31 wins, was once actually a normal fighter.

Ten years ago he was already one tough nut to crack, of course, but without the unsurmountable technical abyss separating him from his rivals when standing. The proof is in another win of his over a different Japanese fighter, on August 26, 2001, exactly one decade before Anderson took out Yushin Okami at UFC Rio.

Check out the skills Anderson was armed with in the following fight against Hayato “Mach” Sakurai at Shooto in Osaka, Japan, and what he didn’t have yet.

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