Monday Morning Violence: Anderson Silva's Reverse Elbow Knockout

USA TODAY Sports

The second installment of Monday Morning Violence takes a look back at one of the most spectacular finishes in MMA history, Anderson Silva's reverse elbow knockout of Tony Fryklund.

Welcome back to Monday Morning Violence, your guaranteed cure for even the most severe case of the Mondays. This series is a combination snake-oil curative for your beginning-of-the-week blues and look back at the pre-UFC careers of today's top fighters, with a generous helping of ultraviolence to get the old juices flowing.

This week's edition will take a peek at Anderson Silva's last fight before beginning his epic run as the UFC's middleweight kingpin, his Cage Rage title bout against Tony Fryklund. Silva was coming off the strange disqualification loss against Yushin Okami in the Rumble on the Rock 175 lb. tournament, a stacked eight-man series featuring talent like Carlos Condit, Frank Trigg, and Jake Shields, that should have been Silva's to lose. His comeback fight came against the unfortunate Fryklund; while Fryklund wasn't a can by any means, Silva was the clear favorite. He didn't disappoint.

Take a look at the video of the fight, and stick around after for GIFs and some analysis.


While the almost unspeakably awesome reverse elbow - a move Anderson says he picked up from watching Ong Bak - has been replayed thousands of times, we shouldn't ignore the Spider's cold, calculating dismantling of Fryklund prior to the finish.

Anderson consistently tossed out a left high kick, and while he didn't land it cleanly, it did force Fryklund to cover up, opening up additional avenues of offense. Look at the way Silva uses it to push Fryklund backward and then transitions to the Thai clinch, throwing a hard right knee under his opponent's guard:

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This next sequence follows shortly after the first.

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Note Silva's smooth integration of knees and elbows in the clinch, and precisely when he chooses to throw each type of strike. Anderson throws the elbows around Fryklund's high guard as he covers up, and when Fryklund attempts to push off and create distance, he extends his arms. Without Fryklund's elbows partially covering his torso, Anderson immediately fires off three vicious knees to the ribcage. It's hard to see and it happens very fast, but note as well the way that Anderson uses his right hand to control Fryklund's left arm, further enlarging the opening for his knee strikes. Through all of this Silva maintains the collar tie with his left hand, pulling Fryklund down into the knees as he throws. His hand positioning isn't perfect, but it's still sufficient to noticeably increase the force behind his strikes.

This was a pretty slick sequence, too:

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Fryklund falls short with a left superman punch-straight right combination, and Silva counters with a short right hook-left uppercut combination. He turns that left hand into a single collar tie, throws another right uppercut through Fryklund's guard, and then finishes with an Ernesto Hoost-style low kick in the clinch. As Fryklund breaks off, his back to the fence, Anderson leaps in with a flying knee. He then immediately grabs another single collar tie, fires off an uppercut, gets the full Thai clinch, and throws another hard knee, which buckles Fryklund and sends him to the canvas. It's an awesome demonstration of Silva's ability to transition between different ranges, doing damage at every opportunity.

And finally, the piece de resistance, the sublime reverse elbow finish:

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This is just awesome, and if it doesn't cure your Monday morning blues, you should seek professional help.

Monday Morning Violence will be back next week. Suggestions? Sound off in the comments.

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