DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – Stephan Bonnar will go in to tomorrow night’s UFC 153 main event in Brazil as a historic underdog.
In the ‘anything can happen’ world of mixed martial arts, the likes of 13-1 prohibitive odds are rarely seen, his opponent just happens to be the best pound for pound fighter in the sport and he himself is a fighter at the end of his career who, while popular with fans, has never contended for a title.
Bonnar will take on UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and he will do it in Silva’s back yard.
PLAY: Richard Hunter talks with UFC’s Stephan Bonner
Silva will be moving up to the 205 pound limit of light heavyweight which is Bonnar’s natural weight class, but even that doesn’t seem to indicate a Bonnar advantage.
Silva has twice fought at light heavyweight, knocking out both of his opponents, including Forrest Griffin who Bonnar himself has twice lost to.
Bonnar is a skilled jiu jitsu practitioner, but his biggest wins are over names that with all due respect, don’t approach the elite status of an undefeated fighter in Silva who has the longest winning (15) and title defense (10) streaks in UFC history.
So what’s Stephan Bonner doing in UFC 153’s main event? Because he is willing to fight.
But this fight wasn’t supposed to happen.
After injuries decimated the planned main and co main events for this card, Anderson SIlva and fellow Brazilian legend and UFC heavyweight Minotauro Nougeria stepped up on short notice to save the show for their fellow countrymen. Now all they needed were opponents, and fresh off the unprecedented cancellation of UFC 151 last month after light heavyweight champion Jon Jones turned down a late replacement opponent, company president Dana White couldn’t have been relishing another series of declined invitations from fighters unwilling to fight on short notice.
By contrast, Bonnar actually volunteered, and that is why he is getting the opportunity of a lifetime and the biggest fight of his career: Because he’s a gamer.
He has never been knocked out or submitted, having been stopped only twice, both times due to cuts.
Bonnar has a work rate spanning his career that will require Silva to play the part of a persistent buzz saw if he plans to become the first to KO or submit him.
According to Fight Metric, Bonnar has landed the third most strikes in the history of the division, has the fourth best takedown defense and the second most submission attempts. Translation: If he doesn’t pull off the biggest upset in UFC history, he’ll be extremely busy in a losing effort, and that can’t help but lend itself to an exciting fight.
Throw in the fact that Bonnar literally fought his way into The UFC with one of the greatest wars (with Griffin) in the history of the sport, and you’ve got a virtual guarantee of an unrelenting campaign.
As Dana White said earlier this week, not every fight has to have title implications. “Sometimes it’s ok to just have a fun fight”. This is exactly the kind of fight that he’s talking about.
Don’t miss 105.3 The Fan’s UFC 153 post fight show with Richard hunter and Mike Dingess, immediately following the conclusion of the main event.
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