Preview by Anthony Springer Jr
“There’s nothing wrong with fun fights.” – Dana White, UFC president.
Let me be perfectly clear, the Anderson Silva-Stephan Bonnar main event at this weekend’s UFC 153 is going to be a pretty damn entertaining fight. It will be “fun” in the same way watching Mike Tyson maul opponents in his prime (and the subsequent bouts that followed his release from jail) was fun – and well worth the price of pay-per-view, because watching people get knocked senseless is pretty damn entertaining when you throw in alcohol, food and friends.
Stephan Bonnar, to his credit, is talking a phenomenal game in the days leading up to this bout (and if you have money to burn, Bonnar is a 14-1 underdog at some of the sports books in Vegas). He plans to make the fight “ugly” and give Silva “hell” and take a punch to land a punch.
“The American Psycho” has never been finished –that is the only intriguing factor in this bout. And while I’ve often stretched the truth in some of these analysis pieces, to attempt to persuade anyone with even a cursory knowledge of MMA that Stephan Bonnar was going to defeat Anderson Silva on Saturday would be journalistic malpractice.
Bonnar rides a three fight win streak into this once in a life time opportunity. Despite that, he was headed for retirement before getting the call to fill in for the injury riddled card. If that doesn’t speak volumes, a glance at history will tell you all you need to know about the likely outcome. Past performance is often indicative of future behavior.
Once upon a time a man named Chris Leben believed he was going to “welcome” Anderson Silva to the UFC. An impressive 18-4 at the time, Silva was largely unknown in the states and Leben was a fan favorite. The Crippler had this to say:
“When I get in there and I’m in his face, I’m pressing the action, I’m roughnecking him, throwing him around, I’m punching him and just eating his shots, blasting him back in the face, and he’s not going to be able to handle it,” said Leben.
That bout lasted less than a minute and Silva landed 100 percent of his strikes.
Fast forward to 2008. Silva was called up to light heavyweight for a bout with James Irvin. “The Sandman” sat across the table from me during an interview and told me he was prepared to “eat” Silva’s punches to get one of his own.
That about lasted 61 seconds.
Bonnar’s strategy: “I’m not going to out-finesse him so yeah, I’ve got to make it a little uglier and be aggressive and be able to eat a punch to land a punch.”
History is not on Bonnar’s side – neither is his game plan.
There’s nothing wrong with a fun fight. And one thing Bonnar will do is make it entertaining, as long as it lasts.
UFC 153 begins this Saturday at 7 pm. pst.
Coming up next: UFC 153: Silva on Bonnar is live on PPV from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Saturday, October 13 at 7 PM PT/10 PM ET. Click here for more info