Anderson Silva came to Brazil, he saw, and he dominated. Silva earned his sixteenth UFC win at UFC 153 with a brutal win over Stephan Bonnar. The strange main-event was every bit a mismatch inside the octagon as it was on paper.
Bonnar charged Silva immediately. They fought up against the cage as Bonnar hit a few knee strikes on Silva’s leg. Bonnar and Silva exchanged knee strikes against the cage. Bonnar was trying to take Silva down unsuccessfully. They fought for position up against the cage for about two minutes. Bonnar got a few short punches in. They exchanged a few strikes briefly. Silva hung out by the cage waiting for Bonnar. Bonnar missed a spinning kick. Silva appeared to be mocking him at this point with his defense. Silva laid flat against the cage with his hands down while Bonnar struck to no avail. Silva tripped Bonnar, followed in with a brutal knee strike, and finished with 21 seconds to go. A devastating knee was what did the damage here.
The odd main-event came about after Jose Aldo was injured in a motorcycle accident and had to pull out of his scheduled main-event against Frankie Edgar. The UFC middleweight champion had offered to save UFC 151 a few weeks earlier and the UFC president called his bluff with UFC 153. Silva offered to fight on short notice to save the show and perform in front of his home country. Stephan Bonnar was the sacrifice.
Anderson Silva is being heralded as a hero in many circles for taking the fight against Bonnar on short notice. I tend to disagree and have a bit of a cynical point of view on the fight. I think that Silva took the fight to buy time. Silva wants to fight Georges St-Pierre at the expense of dodging challengers in the middleweight division. After defeating Chael Sonnen several weeks ago Silva said he wasn’t fighting again until 2013. The opportunity for UFC 153 came up and the fight with Bonnar was a brilliant move by the champion that allowed him to stall while waiting for GSP and in turn take a very easy fight that was accepted as heroic. Heroic would have been fighting Chris Wiedman or a top middleweight contender. Heroic is not fighting Stephan Bonnar no matter how you slice it.
Quite frankly this headliner was a joke. It was an intriguing fight…for a free show. To charge fans for the fight was ridiculous. I have heard many defend the main-event by asking, “What was the UFC supposed to do?” Oh I don’t know, not allow their middleweight champion to take an easy fight while holding the division hostage? The whole thing just didn’t sit well with me from the start and after seeing it play out, I was even less thrilled with the decision making here.
Silva is now in a position where he is holding out for a fight against Georges St-Pierre. The greatest fighter in MMA will go from Stephan Bonnar to a fighter he outweighs by at least 30 pounds, while avoiding the best in his division and the best in the light heavyweight division. Silva outright refuses to fight Jon Jones and continues to show little interest in defending his title against the top contenders. Silva has no interest in fighting in the light heavyweight division yet takes a fight with +700 underdog? Call me crazy but I have a hard time with the greatest in any sport avoiding the best competition.
The hot rumor right now is that the UFC are moving towards Rashad Evans vs. Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title. Excuse me if I don’t get too excited. Silva wants super fights and I get that, but Rashad Evans? Fool me once (with the Rampage fight) shame on you, fool me twice (with the Bones fight) shame on me. Rashad talks a great game yet at the end of the day is a boring, uninspired fighter in these kinds of situations. Evans vs. Silva is a fight between two UFC stars but at the end of the day Silva is once again avoiding the best in both divisions he competes in to take an easier fight.
Silva told Joe Rogan in the post fight interview that he was not taking any more fights at 205. If Dana White is as great a promoter as he thinks he is, he has to make Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva. That is the match, not Silva vs. GSP. How Silva can just blow off this fight is something else. Can you imagine any other athlete saying he won’t fight the best? Maybe it’s posturing but the UFC is going to desperately need this fight at some point. If Silva retires without taking that fight, it will absolutely be a black mark on his career.
This is probably coming off like a bash Anderson Silva blog and quite frankly it is. As a fan, I am more disappointed in the path that arguably the greatest fighter of all-time has chosen. I can understand Silva wanting to retire undefeated in the UFC. But if he is just going to pick and choose easy fights, retire now. I just want to see the best fight the best and I feel like we were all duped tonight as part of Silva’s master plan. Even more disappointing is that the UFC is a willing accomplice in this charade.
The other big story of the night was Jon Fitch. Jon Fitch fought like an animal in defeating Erick Silva. I can’t put into words how great this fight was. Fitch was caught badly in a choke at one point and survived. This was a huge fight for Fitch who desperately needed a win here. Fitch has made his financial problems public as of late and has said on several occasions that not only did he need the win, but he needed a bonus for Fight of the Night. He certainly earned it. The second round here is a candidate for Round of the Year. I don”t know where this Jon Fitch has been for the last six years because the Fitch that fought tonight was aggressive, intense, and just outright brutal in his assault on Silva. Silva gassed out badly in the final round while Fitch kept coming. I have no problem seeing Fitch get another title shot if he continues fighting with this kind of intensity.
Anderson Silva defeated Stephan Bonnar via TKO in Round 1
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defeated Dave Herman via submission in Round 2
Glover Teixeira defeated Fabio Maldonado via 2nd round TKO
Jon Fitch defeated Erick Silva via unanimous decision
Phil Davis defeated Wagner Prado via submission
Demian Maia defeated Rick Story via submission
Rony Jason defeated Sam Sicilia via second-round TKO
Gleison Tibau defeated Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision
Diego Brandao defeated Joey Gambino via unanimous decision
Sergio Moraes defeated Renee Forte via submission
Chris Camozzi defeated Luiz Cane via unanimous decision
Cristiano Marcello defeated Reza Madadi via split decision
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