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Anderson Silva swoops in for bout with Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153

It’s been a wild week for MMA fans and UFC officials after the withdrawal of Jose Aldo and Quinton Jackson from the organization’s card in Rio de Janeiro on October 13. Fortunately, the event’s location prompted interest from a number of high-profile Brazilian fighters including middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Silva, who volunteered to help out when the promotion needed a headliner at UFC 151, apparently did the same again this time around too but was given a green-light.

According to an announcement from the UFC, Silva will return to light heavyweight next month at UFC 153 where he’ll face Stephan Bonnar in a three-round main event. “The Spider” has not fought at 205 pounds since pummeling Bonnar’s fellow Ultimate Fighter 1 finalist Forrest Griffin in 2009.

The 14-7 Bonnar is currently riding a three-fight winning streak but hasn’t stepped foot inside the Octagon since a November victory over Kyle Kingsbury. The 35-year old even teased retirement earlier this year while citing an interest in hanging up his gloves unless he was given a marquee match-up (as is clearly the case with Silva).

Silva is coming off a second round TKO of Chael Sonnen, marking his sixteenth straight instance of success. He holds an overall record of 32-4 and is considered by most to be the top pound-for-pound fighter in MMA.


  • darth_irritable says:

    The headline for this should really read “Anderson Silva swoops in for bout with punching bag at UFC 153”.

    Bonnar lost to Griffin – twice – I don’t see how he beats the man who destroyed Forrest with a jab.

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Psycho defines this decision. Sounds fun to watch though the show must go on just sucks were not gonna see silva fight a good contender.

  • trupert says:

    I don’t mind this but they could have still found someone for Glover and if it were Rashad, Lyoto or maybe Lil Nog, it could have been co-main event.
    If it were Spider, might as well had him fight Weidman. Weidman said his elbow surgery would have been heeled by then.

  • BiG BaD BuLL says:

    I love this sport; truly, I do…but what is the UFC thinking? Did they not learn from Cote, leites, and Maia? I understand that Dana owes a debt of gratitude to Bonnar, but this is ridiculous. The only way that this can make sense to me is if it’s a “tune up” fight to get Silva ready for Jones.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Well done by the UFC. Stuck in a hard spot with another event being torpedoed by injuries, the UFC was able to get the best fighter on the planet on the card with only a month’s notice. That alone is a victory.

    Now obviously the matchup leaves much to be desired, but given the circumstances we couldn’t expect too much. This is basically a special engagement… no belt on the line, Silva fighting up a weight class, against a lower ranked but enormously popular figure in the UFC who is as tough as they come. We get to see Anderson freaking Silva fight… I’ll take it.

  • Lord Faust says:

    This isn’t a tune-up. This is Silva collecting a cheque, not having to cut weight, and probably beating the ungodly fuck out of a tough but beatable guy who hasn’t fought in ages.

    I heart Bonnar, so I don’t want to sound like I’m trashing him but, seriously, dude. Anderson fucking Silva.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Also, considering how infrequently we get to see Anderson fight, this is a sweet deal. Theoretically, we weren’t going to see him until some time in 2013. I’d pay money to watch Silva spar for crying out loud!

  • Richard Stabone says:

    But yeah, Bonnar’s toughness might be his worst enemy in a matchup with the accurate, lethal striking of Silva. Keep the white towel handy…

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Oh, and for whatever little it’s worth, Silva fighting at 205, even in a one-off special engagement like this, at least forces him to dabble with LHW and should spur some more chatter about about a possible Silva-Jones fight.

    Not cutting weight will be a fun mini-camp for him. And who knows… if he looks/feels good at 205 (or whatever 200+ figure he weighs in at) maybe it’ll get the wheels turning in his head a little bit.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    An interesting note – Bonnar has never been finished in his career (both TKOs on his record are due to a doctor stopping the fight based on cuts).

  • MCM says:

    ‘Nother interesting note, Chael had never been TKO’d in his career either (both TKO’s were due to cuts). Also Chris Leben had never been KO’d and Hendo had never been choked out. Not saying Bonnar isn’t tough as shit, just that A.Silva tends to do things to fighters no else ever has.

    Not sure if Richard was kidding or not in his first post, but I couldn’t agree with it more. I think the UFC did really well with this fix.

    Anyone know why this isn’t a 5rnd main event?

  • raker says:

    I’m glad to see Bonnar get a headlining bout but he is also may in over his head in this one. This reminds me of that old saying….. Be careful what you wish for…..

    They could have at least given Silva someone with a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Bader?

  • raker says:

    When Silva fought at LHW in the past it was against James Irvin and Forrest Griffin. The Irvin fight was right after Silva choked out Hendo and seemed like it may have been the start of competing regularly in two divisions. After the Irvin fight Silva had two of his weirdest fight against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites, and seemed quite disinterested. Then he was pushed up to LHW to fight Griffin as it was beloved that Forrest would bring the fight to him after a couple of lackluster performances.

    This 3rd fight at LHW has a different feeling about it. We know that Silva’s not staying at this weight and the fight doesn’t have any importance or bearing on anything. I’d like to think of it as a spectacle but it’s hardly even that. I mean no disrespect to Bonnar but I wish that a more competitive opponent could have been found. With that said, good on both of them for coming though for the UFC and the fans.

  • Hell yeah! Now I do agree this is a mismatch BUT this is Anderson Silva taking on a man who has fun fights with everyone. Anderson can do whatever crazy shit he wants to and Stefan will come at him till he falls down.?

  • moosebaby02 says:

    cause it wont last that long.
    Yeah Spider fighting before the year end. Sweet. Bonner is the man when it comes to slugging it out and keeps on coming but like Faust said “probably beating the ungodly fuck out of a tough but beatable guy” this is all thats its going to be. Fuck that was funny Faust

  • fanoftna33 says:

    All I want to see is Bonner looking better than Forest did, then he can retire knowing that against the best fighter in the world he put up a better fight than Forest.

  • THEGUNNER says:

    if bonner wins he should retire on the spot.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    ..anyone else kinda hope that bonnar pulls out a hail mary? Just to see what happens afterwards.

  • MickeyC says:

    Way to go anderson, nothing like taking a fight where you have nothing to loose.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Seriously folks, why would the UFC want to risk Silva’s mystique by putting him up against a 205er with a legitimate shot at beating him with only a month to prepare for the bout?!? Clearly the aim here is a means of treating Brazilian fans to a spectacle (and MMA fans to an unexpected appearance from Silva). Bonnar has name value and is on a three-fight winning streak. Can’t ask for much more in my opinion.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Plus the UFC owes the Brazilian fans a Silva fight after they pulled the plug on chael/silva

  • Spoken says:

    I kind of wish the UFC would do this more often. Maybe a little less of a mismatch skill-wise, but stil an off-the-cuff, fun kind of fight between 2 guys that are interesting to watch and just wanna jump in and fight. There is a place for the Jon Jones types who are focused on legacy and perfection, but there is an equally important place for guys who just wanna go in, fight, put on a show, get paid, and move on to the next one. I think it is particularly awesome when one of those guys is a champion, especially one as dominant as Anderson.

  • G-DUB says:

    Spider gets to add to his highlight reel.
    Bonnar gets the big fight he’s been asking for and truly deserves.
    Fans get an extra fight out of a future legend they didn’t expect to see.
    Brazil gets to see one of their champions fight in what should be a fun exhibition-type affair.
    UFC gets to sell an interesting fight that could intrigue enough fans to secure a respectable buy-rate.

  • raker says:

    I see your point Brendhan although why is it that the P4P best fighter in the planet should get a fight with no risk involved? Bonnar is nothing but a sacrificial lamb.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    There is risk involved in EVERY fight, let alone one outside of a competitor’s regular weight class with only a month to prepare. Please refer to the first GSP-Serra fight if you disagree.

    And the reason the risk should be reduced, as it is against Bonnar, is because they’re trying to send fans home happy. He’s doing the UFC and fans a solid by taking the fight. It amazes me how anyone could be disappointed given the circumstances.

  • raker says:

    I’m not really disappointed, I just don’t agree with the notion of giving the best fighter in the planet someone who we all know isn’t even going to be competitive.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I think Bonnar will be more competitive then people think, do I think he will dominate Silva and make it a close fight? No. But it should be a good fight, plus Bonnar said he wanted his next fight to be against a big name and not an up and comer, he got his wish.

  • raker says:

    That’s fine but this main event reeks of ” who wants to get paid to take a beating for the fans?” We all thought that Forrest would be competitive too. The only way that happens is if Silva takes him lightly. It’ll be entertaining no doubt.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I’m still going to hold out hope that Bonnar somehow pulls it out and wins, so that we can see the UFC pr machine explain away Silva’s first lost in forever due to a short notice fight, against someone who was contemplating retirement anyways.

  • matt says:

    This card is still stacked from top to bottom although it is now missing a superfigt that many of us were anticipating:
    Silva (#1 fighter in the world) vs. Bonnar (tough fan favorite)
    Texeira vs. Maldano (two vicious strikers)
    Big Nog vs. Herman (guaranteed fireworks)
    Fitch vs. Silva (proven vet vs. a young killer)
    Maia vs. Story

    The UFC really came through saving this card. After I read about the injuries I figured they would throw some undeserving fighter into the main event and scratch the co main altogether. But thanks to Dana and crews innovative thinking I am still very excited about this card.

  • raker says:

    3 possible scenarios…

    1. A snoozer Silva wins by decision
    2. A blowout by Slva
    3. Silva takes him lightly and loses

  • AlphaOmega says:

    So after digging through Dana’s twitter, just cuz sometimes I like to read about him yelling at people who say stuff to him, it says that Lyoto hurt his knee and that’s why he’s not fighting on this card, anyone heard anything more?

  • Lord Faust says:

    I really don’t know why anyone has a problem with this fight. Yes, on paper it looks lopsided — and it may very well be — but everyone looks like just another victim against Anderson right now. (Similar to Fedor; until someone proves it bleeds, it’s easy to believe you can’t kill it.)

    Bonnar’s got some balls to take this fight — the kind that clank when you walk — and you’ve got to respect it. Plus, as much as I expect a dominant Silva victory, Bonnar knows this is it; he’s a legit warrior with real skills, who knows what an opportunity like this will bring out of him? Worst case, we know Silva’s fighting a guy who puts on an entertaining fight, and who doesn’t have much discernible quit in him. If nothing else, I expect a better fight than Silva’s utter tooling of Forrest.

    And again, we get another Silva fight. These are a rare commodity and I really don’t expect Bonnar to start butt flopping the moment Silva gets in punching range.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Chael Sonnen–coming off a loss and never having won a fight in the UFC LHW division–getting an immediate title shot in the LHW division would have been the type of absolute joke that threatens the legitimacy of the UFC’s divisional rankings and championship belts.

    Anderson Silva in a one-off special engagement, with no belt in the mix, moving up in weight to fight a larger opponent who’s won 3 in a row, and who happens to be one of the handful of most popular fighters in the organization’s history, is a harmless maneuver that will deliver big entertainment.

    For some people to have been completely fine with that first scenario, only to turn around and throw their hands up in the air about the second, is pretty wonky.


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