The greatest in the world continued his dominance on Saturday, while jumping up a weight class, and almost single handed saving a major pay per view card in his home country.
UFC 153 was originally slated to feature Featherweight champion Jose Aldo, Erik Koch, Rampage Jackson, and later Frank Edgar. Injuries and other misfortunes forced all four off of the card, and in the midst of three Zuffa cards being canceled (one UFC, two Strikeforce), it looked as if UFC 153 could face the same fate. After a call to Brazilian legend Minotauro Nogueira, who accepted a fight on the card, his teammate Anderson Silva jumped aboard, accepting a fight at 205 pounds.
Silva’s opponent, Ultimate Fighter Season One runner up Stephan Bonnar, was on a three fight win streak, but had contemplated retirement after not being offered a big fight by the UFC. With the companies back to the wall, Bonnar gladly accepted the bout against the middleweight challenge. He later found out how symbolic “back to the wall” would be.
Early in the fight, a slip to Anderson Silva allowed Stephan Bonnar to gain control, and use his size advantage to control Silva. Punches, knees, and elbows followed, as the underdog was firmly in control of the first half of the round. However, after the clinch was released, Anderson Silva didn’t move. At all. Silva stood upright, with his back against the cage wall, with his hands down, daring his opponent to come forward. Bonnar obliged, landing a few punches, before being met unceremoniously with a knee to the chest, sending him to the mat, and ending the fight. Anderson Silva moved to 3-0 at Light Heavyweight.
Anderson Silva post fight shot down rumors of a Jon Jones fight, and celebrated with his good friend and teammate Minotauro Nogueira.
Speaking of Nogueira, he scored a moral victory for the Brazilian jiu jitsu community, scoring a submission victory over Dave Herman, who had publicly declared that he didn’t train in the discipline because it “didn’t work”. For someone making those claims, Herman had some staggering defense for Nogueira’s attempts, stopping two attempts before ultimately giving in to the armbar.
Noguiera also controlled the striking portion of the bout, as Herman left himself wide open for combinations by throwing half-hearted kicks.
Jon Fitch had an uncharacteristically entertaining fight, as well. Taking on up and comer Erick Silva, the first round looked like the boring run-of-the-mill Jon Fitch fight, until Silva made it apparent that he wouldn’t be laid on for three rounds. Jon Fitch made the most of his potential, blending his outstanding wrestling with ground and pound. Fitch was trying desperately to earn his first finish since 2007, and while unsuccessful, did earn Fight of The Night honors.
Light Heavyweight prospect Glover Teixiera also scored an impressive victory on Saturday night, with Teixiera nearly murdering Fabio Maldonado. Teixiera absolutely brutalized his opponent for two rounds, in a fight that should have been ended much earlier, before it ultimately was by the doctor. Maldonado did manage to land a huge haymaker that staggered Teixiera temporarily, but ultimately led to nothing.
Demian Maia and Phil Davis also had submission victories on the show, as they begin runs for title contention at Welterweight and Light Heavyweight, respectively.
SEAN ROSS SAPP’S VIEWPOINT
Watching Anderson Silva fight is an absolute honor, much like watching Michael Jordan play basketball. He is alone atop the pound for pound rankings, and much more impressive than even Fedor was during his Pride run.
I loved the build for this fight, promoting Anderson Silva as the all-time great, and everyone, including Bonnar, not thinking he stood a chance. In reality, Bonnar isn’t a slouch, showed up in great shape, and worked a good clinch game for the first half of the round. I’m unsure of what the future holds for Stephan Bonnar, as he wasn’t at the post fight presser, but I hope he’s given another big name in the division.
There are many people clamoring for Anderson Silva to fight Jon Jones, but I’m not too keen on that idea. Jon Jones is still young, and has goals within his own division, while the Anderson Silva vs. GSP fight has been asked for for over four years. Let’s see that first.
I was impressed with the relentlessness of Jon Fitch and Glover Teixiera Saturday. It seems as if the era of the safety fighters is coming to an end, and not soon enough. If Jon Fitch consistently fought the way he did in the final two rounds of his fight with Erick Silva, he’d be one of the UFC’s most popular fighters. As it pertains to Teixiera, it seemed like he would have to shoot Fabio Maldonado in order to end the fight. Teixiera is a contender in the light heavyweight division, and the heart shown by Maldonado was inspiring and horrifying at the same time.
By the way, I saw a lot of MMA fans with their livid “AHHHH JUI JITSU WORKS” posts regarding Dave Herman. You have all been effectively trolled. Herman clearly trains jiu jitsu, as his defense was top notch, before ultimately being defeated. Well done, Dave.
The aggression from Phil Davis was refreshing, as he took the fight to Wagner Prado. Davis does such a great job utilizing his unusual frame to work the anaconda choke, in addition to other submissions. He’s constantly improving, and if he becomes comfortable with his stand up game, there will be a lot of Light Heavyweights rethinking their career choice.
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