UFC 153: Can Stephen Bonnar really beat Anderson Silva?

UFC 153 takes place in Rio de Janeiro tonight. The overall card is pretty good, it will include fights featuring HW Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dave Herman, Welterweight Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva, LHW Phil Davis vs Wagner Prado and Welterweight Demian Maia vs. Rick Story. However, I think it is the main event which is the most intriguing fight of the event.

The main event for UFC 153 tonight features UFC Middleweight Champ Anderson Silva (32-4) fighting light heavyweight Stephen Bonnar (15-7) at LHW limit of 205 pounds. This fight was arranged only a month ago because previously scheduled main event, which was to feature Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar, had to be canceled due to an injury to Aldo. Being a good company man, Anderson Silva agreed to step in and fight an opponent at Light Heavy in a non-championship fight. The UFC then offered the fight to Stephen Bonnar and he
accepted the rare opportunity to fight a UFC legend.

Silva hasn’t lost a fight since 2006 (outside the UFC). Silva’s record in the UFC 15-0 and he is widely acknowledged as the best pound for pound fighter in the UFC. 35 yearr old Stephen Bonnar has had a solid career in UFC, but has never held a UFC title. He was the Runner-up (to Forrest Griffen) in the The Ultimate Fighter 1 way back in 2005. He is currently riding a 3 fight win streak.

The Odds: Silva is -1200 and Bonnar is +700 (although I have seen him as high as +800)

The means that if you $100 on Bonnar and he actually wins you would win $700. If you bet $1200 on Silva to win and he does you only win $100. So, the odds makers clearly see this as a fight that Bonnar has little chance of winning.

I don’t think I would want to put money on either side of this bet, but if I had to bet a little money on the fight I would bet on Bonnar. Silva just might do something careless or make a mistake that gives Bonnar an opportunity to put him away. Bonnar is no where near the athlete that Silva is, but he is a pretty well rounded veteran MMA fighter and he does know how to put opponents away. Bonnar’s 15 victories include 3 KO’s and 7 submissions. Bonnar is well versed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Taekwondo. Of course, Spider Silva is also very well versed in BJJ, Judo and Taekwondo. Silva’s one weakness is wrestling. Both Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen have taken Silva down in previous fights and inflicted some damage on him. Still, taking Silva Down is no easy task. His Take Down defense is very good. Henderson and Sonnen were both Olympic caliber wrestlers and even they could not finish off Silva once they did manage to get him down. Bonnar does not possess the wrestling ability of Dan Henderson or Chael Sonnen.

If the fight remains standing I don’t think Bonnar will be able to defend himself against Silva’s speed and precision striking. If Bonnar can bring the fight to ground he might have a little better chance, but again, bringing the fight there will be difficult for Bonnar to do and even if he does Silva has demonstrated that he can be very dangerous on his back, where he is always looking for the submission. Both Sonnen (1st fight, triangle choke) and Henderson (rear naked choke) lost to Silva on the ground.

Bonnar is a tough customer and he will fight hard, but I am going to predict that Silva wins by KO in the 2nd round.


Gee, I guess I underestimated Anderson Silva or over estimated Stephen Bonnar, or both. Spider Silva made short work of Bonnar and KO’d him in the first round. Bonnar was aggressive, but he had no answer for Silva’s speed. It appeared to me that Silva quickly estimated Bonnar’s speed and strength in the first two minutes of the fight and concluded that Bonnar could not throw anything that would really hurt him. Silva toyed with Bonnar by remaining standing against the cage and daring Bonnar to trade strikes. Silva easily dodged Bonnar’s strikes and when he found an opening he landed a powerful knee to Bonnar’s solar plexus and that put him down. Silva then delivered a few punches to the crumpled Bonnar’s head and the ref had to jump in. It was another good example of why Silva is so dangerous, he can end a fight with his fists or his legs. Not too many other fighters in the UFC can do that.

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