Vote for Anderson Silva in ESPN all sports GOAT tournament

Sunday, February 10, 2013


There is good news and bad news at ESPN. Good news is Anderson Silva has been put in a bracket of 16, to decide the greatest athlete of all time. Bad news is, he won’t win.

The contest describes Silva as holding “numerous UFC and Pride belts” and notes he has “earned black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, taekwondo and Muay Thai.” For the record, the bio is correct if by numerous Pride belts they meant none. Further, Muay Thai doesn’t have black belts, and the relevance of taekwondo in MMA is minimal, at best.

If Silva gets by the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, next up be meets the winner of Michael Jordan vs. Tiger Woods. So MMA fans should vote early and often, and be happy knowing that at least The Spider can beat everyone else in the field up, even if he doesn’t play with balls as well as they do.

SportsCenter and ESPN Sport Science have teamed up to determine the greatest athlete of all time, using their unique metric that factors in attributes such as speed, power, reaction time and more. Your votes over the past 16 weeks determined the athlete who would represent each sport in the bracket phase of the project.

Starting on Sunday, Feb. 17, John Brenkus will unveil the winner of each bracket matchup on “SportsCenter” based on a series of metrics including speed, strength, durability, reaction time and much more.

The Field

Muhammad Ali
First ever three-time world heavyweight champion
Won 22 heavyweight championship fights with 19 successful defenses

Mark Allen
Six-time winner of Ironman World Championship
Won 20 straight triathlons from 1988-1990

Jim Brown
Averaged 104.3 rushing yards per game, most in NFL history
Only player to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns in five seasons

Dale Earnhardt Sr.
76 career Cup Series wins (seventh all-time)
34 career wins at Daytona in all races (leads all drivers)

Roger Federer
Held world No. 1 ranking for 302 total weeks, most all-time
Seven career Wimbledon singles titles, tied with Pete Sampras for most all-time

Wayne Gretzky
Won Hart Trophy as NHL’s Most Valuable Player a record nine times
NHL career and single-season record holder for goals, assists and points

Tony Hawk
Won 16 X Games medals, including 10 golds
Won 73 pro events by age 25 (turned pro at 14)

Bo Jackson
First pro athlete to be named an All-Star in two major American sports (MLB All-Star in 1989, NFL Pro Bowl in 1990)
Won Heisman Trophy in 1985

Michael Jordan
Five-time NBA MVP; six-time NBA champion (Finals MVP for all six titles)
10-time NBA scoring champ (most in NBA history)

Carl Lewis
Nine-time Olympic gold medalist, tied for second-most gold medals all-time
Held world record in 100 meters from September 1988 to June 1991 and August 1991 to July 1994

Willie Mays
12-time Gold Glove winner, tied with Roberto Clemente for most by an outfielder
One of three players in major league history with at least 600 home runs and 300 stolen bases

1,281 professional goals in his career, fourth-most all-time
Scored 12 goals in 14 matches while leading Brazil to three World Cup titles

Michael Phelps
Most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals
Only athlete to win eight gold medals in a single Olympics

Jackie Robinson
First African-American player in modern era of Major League Baseball
All-Star in six straight seasons from 1949-54

Anderson Silva
UFC-record 10 successful title defenses
Has gone past second round only four times in UFC career

Tiger Woods
Has won 14 majors, second-most all-time
10-time PGA Player of the Year, most all-time