The world’s 40th most marketable athlete - Anderson Silva

In 2006, just two fights into his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career, Anderson 'The Spider' Silva was crowned the UFC's middleweight champion. Successfully defending his title 11 times since, with a string of highlight reel knockouts, The Spider is the longest running champion in UFC history and arguably the best mixed martial artist (MMA) of all-time.

The world’s 40th most marketable athlete - Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva – Brazilian, 35, MMA (-)

In 2006, just two fights into his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva was crowned the UFC’s middleweight champion. Successfully defending his title 11 times since, with a string of highlight reel knockouts, The Spider is the longest running champion in UFC history and arguably the best mixed martial artist (MMA) of all-time.

Having signed a long-term representation contract with high-profile soccer legend Ronaldo's sports marketing agency 9ine in February 2011, Silva's status in his native Brazil skyrocketed following a highly publicised win in theatrical style over celebrity fighter and fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort at UFC 126.

Now, with the UFC’s aggressive expansion plans focusing on a return to Rio de Janeiro in August, Silva breaks into the rankings as a value-for-money athlete with a golden opportunity to cement his position as a home-grown hero in an enormous market, and a global superstar in a sport that is rapidly becoming one of the industry’s hottest new properties with broadcasters and sponsors alike.