Anderson Silva Loses by Heel Hook

In this article I’ll cover EXACTLY how Anderson Silva racked up his one and only loss… a heel hook from hell by Ryo Chonan!

Two words, one name: Anderson Silva.  Where do I start?  Let’s see: UFC Middlweight champion, 33-4 overall, 17 fight win streak, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Judo black belt, former Shooto Middleweight champion, former Cage Rage middleweight champion, multi-weight class fighter, Burger King endorsement, Nike endorsement.  Get the picture?

He’s the king of kings, best of the best, so on and so on.  At this point in his career, any loss is almost mythical.  The last time he lost was to Yushin Okami way back in 2006.  The loss was by way of a DQ after an illegal kick.  If you want to find the last REAL loss he had, well then go back to when that comes on New Years Eve in 2004.

Where it All Happened – PRIDE: Shockwave 2004

It was December, 31st 2004 and Anderson Silva had just stepped into the ring out in Japan for another bout in PRIDE.  His opponent was 7-3 Ryo Chonan, by no means a highly decorated fighter but a respectable one none the less.

The fight began and in typical Silva fashion, where the champ was having his way with Chonan.  Ryo tried and tried but Anderson was just simply too much for Ryo to do anything.  To say this was one sided would be an understatement; it was extremely lopsided.

Anderson continued to toy with Ryo.  With the end nowhere in sight, Ryo went for broke and tried to take matters into his own hands as his striking was clearly not enough.

“Out of nowhere the guy goes and throws a flying leg scissors,” former UFC champion, Josh Barnett, recalls.  “It went into a heel hook.  If I hadn’t have seen it myself—I’m sitting there ringside—I’m watching him go for it, ‘Nah, that’ll…’” Barnett pauses and mimics his reaction of being amazed.  “I just sat there stunned.  I flew up out of my seat and went crazy, I lost my mind…it was out of nowhere.”

Simply Amazing Heel Hook Setup – The ONLY Defeat of Anderson Silva

There’s no other way to put it.  I’ll do us all a favor and toss the video down at the bottom, but every time I watch it (going on at least 100+), it never, EVER gets old.  Taking into account everything that happened; a middle of the pack fighter, an iconic figure, a one sided fight, a miraculous move…it’s something out of a movie!

Chonan did a fantastic job of going by the classic saying, “expect the unexpected.”  With the way that fight was going—ah heck, with the way ANY fight is going, I don’t think many people are expecting a flying scissors heel hook!

You can tell that Ryo really applied some fantastic pressure on the actual submission because it was almost instantaneous that Silva had tapped out.  Right when Ryo landed on the mat, the fight was over.  It was just beautiful to watch. I talk about the keys to being GREAT with heel hooks (such as in this article for Josh Vogel’s blog), and Ryo hit the nail on the head with "Being Dynamic." How could Silva have seen THAT one coming?

Even as the match ended, the look on the fact of Chonan was that of stunned, amused, amazed, happy, joyous…go ahead and tack on any other positive emotion and it’ll fit in perfectly.  Ok, enough of my banter and take a look at it yourself!

-Daniel Faggella


For more great articles, please keep coming back to this blog right here! To learn more specifically about leg locks on larger opponent, you can find Dan Faggella’s other instructional resources online at

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