UFC legend unrecognisable as ex-champ turned boxer sports bushy beard

Anderson Silva looks unrecognisable from his UFC pomp after swapping a glittering MMA career for professional boxing.

Now 48, the Brazillian was the most dominant champion in the history of the promotion with 16 consecutive wins including ten defences of the middleweight title between 2006 and 2013.

He left the sport in 2020 before moving into boxing, winning three fights in a row after debut defeat before being beaten by Jake Paul by decision in October of last year. Taking to social media with a selfie 13 months later, he sported a bushy beard having been clean shaven during his career.

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Silva wrote in his caption: "My uncle used to tell me: 'Work impoverishes a man.' We continue here, on this productive day, with a lot of work, a lot of creation and good people. Have a great Friday my people!"

One of the first to reply was fellow UFC trailblazer Conor McGregor, who got over 2,500 likes by posting: "Living legend!" Silva's post brought in more than 100,000 likes from his five million followers many of which watched him during his tenure as the most dominant UFC champion in history.

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One fan said in the comments: "Bro, that beard looks great." A second added: "Enjoy retirement man you’ve giving us so many unforgettable moments."

Third wrote: "GOAT. It was a pleasure to watch you fight." A fourth continued: "Nice beard man!"

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Silva brought in almost 10 million PPV buys during his time in the UFC including over one million for his UFC 168 rematch against Chris Weidman. His PPV contest against Jake Paul then did almost £15million in revenue to prove his star power has remained into his late forties.

Nicknamed The Spider, Silva was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame back in July of 2023 with his son Kalyl picking up the award on his behalf. His fight record of 34-11 was once 33-4, with many current fighters considering him the greatest of all time inside the Octagon.

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