There has been a lot of criticism lately about UFC matchmaking. The biggest transgression was booking Stephan Bonnar to face the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world: Anderson Silva. Fans and media almost immediately hit the net to air their grievances, and in some cases they were pretty harsh.
They view Bonnar as a fighter who made it to a certain level of success, but was never able to get over the hump to super stardom. To some extent, they are correct. In his UFC run, Bonnar never captured light heavyweight gold.
Instead, he has been in a handful of memorable matches, won because he's the perfect mixture of technical prowess and grit. He's willing to trade punches in order to take advantage of his opponents' lack of toughness.
When it comes to pedigree, there's few in the light heavyweight division that can match "the American Psycho." Years learning under Carlson Gracie ensured that he would be one of the most capable fighters on the mat and his Golden Gloves experience means that his punches actually pack some power.
What I'm saying is that while everyone is writing off Bonnar, I think he has what it takes to actually upset the UFC middleweight champ. I'd go as far as to say that Stephan Bonnar is a live dog in this fight.
It's been pretty obvious if you've followed the narrative that Bonnar came out of retirement for this fight. He needed a fight to motivate him to get back into a fighting mindset. He got it in Silva and quite frankly, I think too many people are writing him off.
Very few fighters ever attain "champion" status and even fewer will ever put together the type of career of Stephan Bonnar. Sure, he's come up short against top fighters, but he also pushed them harder than other fighters.
Which brings us back to the question: What if Stephan Bonnar beats Anderson Silva on Saturday?
The UFC has plans for Anderson Silva that include the much sought after bout against Georges St. Pierre and a possible superfight with Jon Jones. They have spent millions building up the legend of Anderson Silva.
So what happens if Silva is outclassed by Stephan Bonnar? What happens to not just the legacy of Anderson Silva but all those potentially lucrative match ups?
I hope that Bonnar isn't writing himself off in this match up. This could be the type of springboard he needs to get motivated again to fight. He could play spoiler and use Anderson Silva's name to reestablish his career.
Don't sleep on the "American Psycho". He always has a fighting shot. I hope we see it on Saturday night.