UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will go down in the MMA history books as an all-time great.

While many have faulted him for some of the title defenses he has had, the end result has always been the same: “The Spider” has his hand raised in victory.

His front-kick KO of Vitor Belfort was incredible. The one-punch knockout of Forrest Griffin was memorable. And His finishes of Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin made a name for himself.

But, only one man has been able to make people talk about Silva the way Chael Sonnen has.

Sonnen took Silva to the distance in 2010, leading on the scorecards before Silva locked in a triangle armbar that forced Sonnen to tap.

Since that meeting, Sonnen has continued his verbal warfare against Silva over two years. All of the talking against Silva, his country of Brazil, his fighting family and even his own family forced Silva into attack mode.

During a recent conference call, Silva was the aggressor, proclaiming he was going to break Sonnen’s arm, legs, face; leave him needing assistance to exit the Octagon.

This is an Anderson Silva that no one has likely seen. Sure, in the weigh-ins before fighting Belfort he donned a mask, but this is a screaming, yelling, fire-breathing Silva that the world will see unleashed on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 is going to present to the new generation of MMA what Rashad Evans-Quinton “Rampage” Jackson missed: passion.

Silva and Sonnen will not let a second go by inside the Octagon when one of them is not trying to finish the other.

This has all the makings of the biggest MMA event of the year. Yes, UFC president Dana White has tried drilling that into the head of everyone within hearing distance, but it’s true; especially after the Silva comments we’ve heard in the past few days.

Photo credit: CombatLifestyle.com