This date in MMA history three years ago - 6/28/2006 - UFC held its fifth Ultimate Fight Night, in Las Vegas.
The main card was fairly unspectacular, with three of the four fights going to decision. However, the one violently decisive main-card fight and its winner would soon attain legendary status.
The fight was Anderson Silva vs. Chris Leben.
Silva was known to most fans as the Chute Boxe teammate of Wanderlei Silva in PRIDE, where he amassed some huge wins (Carlos Newton) and huge losses (Ryo Chonan). Last in PRIDE on the Shockwave card on 12/31/04, Silva fought a few times for Cage Rage before signing a UFC contract to debut against Chris Leben at UFN 5.
Disrespected openly by Leben in pre-fight hype, Silva answered all questions resoundingly, scoring a 100% strike-effectiveness consisting of virtually every strike imaginable en route to dismantling the iron-jawed Leben and forcing the referee to save him just 49 seconds into the fight.
Silva has gone on to become one of the most dominant champions in UFC history, demolishing Rich Franklin at UFC 64 to win the middleweight belt and successfully defending it 5 consecutive (and running) times. Interspersed among those title defenses was a planned title fight with Lutter for which the belt was taken off the table after Lutter failed to make weight; and a light-heavyweight debut against James Irvin. Both fights were early stoppage wins for Silva.
Even if he never fights again or wins another title fight, Silva's status is already guaranteed as one of the most dominant - and thrilling - champions in MMA history. He holds the record for most consecutive victories in the UFC (9) and is tied with Matt Hughes and Tito Ortiz for the most consecutive title defenses (5) in the UFC (both records are still ongoing).
Anderson Silva first fought for the UFC 3 years ago today.