Unless the impossible happens, Anderson Silva is going to knockout Stephan Bonnar.
Sure, we’ve seen huge upsets happen in MMA, (Matt Serra vs Georges St-Pierre, anyone?) but Silva has proven to be nearly unbeatable over the last six years and there’s no reason to believe that Bonnar has a legitimate chance at taking out the pound for pound best fighter in the history of our sport.
Even if Bonnar’s legendary toughness enables him to go the distance with “The Spider” and avoid becoming another victim on Silva’s highlight reel, the odds of him doing enough to eke out a decision on the judges scorecards are roughly a million to one.
Despite the obvious mismatch placed in front of us, the MMA world should be overjoyed that we’re getting an event at all.
When both featherweight champion Jose Aldo and top draw Quinton “Rampage” Jackson went down with injuries earlier this week, it became a very real possibility that UFC 153 would end up in the same boat as the defunct UFC 151 card and be cancelled altogether, but Dana White and company were able to do what was needed to save the day.
When Jon Jones decided to turn down a short notice fight against Chael Sonnen just over a week before UFC 151 was set to take place, the organization was forced to cut its losses and completely abandon the Labor day weekend show, a move that cost the promotion both fiscally and in the eyes of the public.
This time White avoided a serious disaster by finding a way to salvage what was left of a once promising event in UFC 153.
Is anyone as excited for Silva vs. Bonnar as they were for Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar?
No, and they shouldn’t be, but the UFC is in the business of putting on fights and if it has any chance at making that happen it needs to do its job, which is what it did by creating the new UFC 153 main event.
Based on what we know, Bonnar shouldn’t fare much better against Silva than his The Ultimate Fighter cast-mate Forrest Griffin did, but the fact remains that we get to see the greatest fighter in the world compete for a second time in 2012.
We’ve paid to see Silva battle the likes of Thales Leites, Patrick Cote and Travis Lutter in the past, and while I’m sure the vast majority of fans would have preferred to see Anderson take on someone along the lines of Wanderlei Silva or Shogun Rua, Bonnar really isn’t a terrible consolation prize.
Over the course of his UFC career Bonnar has provided us with plenty of entertaining battles, and while he has never really earned a win over a top tier fighter, his fights with Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin at least proved he is able to hang tough with some of the better fighters in the game today.
Throw in “The American Psycho’s” insane ability to get hit on the chin and remain upright, and it could end up being a pretty fun fight to watch if Bonnar is able to get any offense off.
We still get to see Glover Teixeira and Fabio Maldonado throw leather in what should be an amazing stand up war; Minotauro Nogueira agreed to come in on short notice to help the card gain a little of the credibility it lost over the last few days, and previously announced welterweight bouts featuring Demian Maia vs. Rick Story and Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva remain on the card to give it some much needed prestige.
Throw in a sixth main card bout between Phil Davis and Wagner Prado, along with a preliminary card filled with some of the most exciting young fighters Brazil has to offer, and we should still end up with an awesome night of fights.
UFC 153 is officially one of the most disappointing cards of the year, especially considering how stacked it appeared when it was first announced, but to be completely honest, we got lucky.
We could have had to suffer through the UFC 151 debacle all over again.