Who is the greatest baseball player of all time? Some may say Babe Ruth, others will say Barry Bonds. Either way, he's not in the league right now. If you lean towards Ruth, you've never seen him play a game live. How about the greatest football or basketball players? All you have to go on right now is old footage and fading memories of the dominance displayed by Jordan, or the stories your dad tells you about Walter Payton or Joe Montana. The point is, "The Greatest of All Time" doesn't come around often, and not many people get to actually see them play live.
Tonight Anderson Silva is going to step into the cage. He's widely considered the greatest fighter in our sport's short history. Many times we throw that out there without getting a full appreciate of just how dominant the man is. Unparalleled destruction and violence at his limbs, the likes of which has never been seen in MMA. If you think about it, we're pretty lucky. There will come a time when there will be fans of our sport that never saw a single fight of Silva's live, while it was happening. Watching a fight live is something special. You don't know the result, you don't know what will happen next. It's a beautiful thing-soaking in the atmosphere, the raw excitement in the air, when you have a heightened sense of things, or maybe a bit of an out of body experience as you zone in on the cage. Seeing people live will always be more enjoyable than seeing taped footage of a fight you've never seen before- even if you don't know what happens.
The point of this is to remind everyone to really appreciate what is happening tonight. He's Anderson Silva. He's the greatest fighter to have ever lived. Enjoy it. Live in the moment, and try to remember the excitement as he walks into the Octagon. Every time he does, it's a historic event. Even if you're not a fan of his, one day you'll be telling friends and family of the way this man nicknamed The Spider was able to dodge strikes effortlessly, like his brain was moving at a different speed than his opponents. How he was able to slip a strike and counter with a punch that happened so fast opponents were on their backs looking up at him without knowing how they got there. Because one day the Greatest of All Time will retire, and we'll only have old footage and memories.