With his fight against Anderson Silva a little over a week away, Stephan Bonnar believes the stars are aligning for the biggest upset in UFC history.
As a 13-to-1 underdog, it's safe to say no one is giving Bonnar much of a chance. He will travel to Brazil on October 13 to face arguably the greatest fighter in MMA history in his home country.
As a light heavyweight, Bonnar has always been a highly-respected middle-of-the-pack fighter, but he has never been considered an upper-echelon contender. Perhaps the most significant win of his entire career came against Keith Jardine in November 2006.
Unlike so many others, Bonnar has never cared much about the UFC title. His aspirations as a fighter have always been all about giving everything he has against whoever the UFC puts in front of him.
There aren't any world-class names in Bonnar's win column, but he has gone the distance with some of the best fighters in the history of the sport.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones named Bonnar as his toughest opponent during an appearance on Spike TV's MMA Uncensored back in May.
Bonnar has never been a world champion or even a UFC title contender, but he has always felt that he has had a fulfilling career.
It came as a shocker for Bonnar when he was offered the bout against Silva, thanks to some great pitch work from his manager Wayne Harriman.
"There was no hesitation [when I got the phone call for this fight]. I honestly didn't think my manager would be able to pull it off," Bonnar told MMA Fight Corner, during an open workout on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
[My manager] hit me up with a text like, "What about fighting Anderson?" I was like, "Yeah, come on. You can't get a bigger name than Anderson Silva. Of course, I'd love that fight, but good luck trying to talk Dana into that one. I mean, I couldn't get him to give me and Forrest the "TUF" coaching job, and now Anderson Silva? Yeah, come on."
It's Wayne Harriman, my manager, so give him some props. His nickname is Copperfield because I don't know how in the hell he pulled that off.
The original UFC 153 headliner was supposed to be a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, but after Aldo pulled out of the bout with an injury, the UFC was forced to find a replacement main event.
Silva offered his services to save the fight card, and Bonnar was given the opportunity of a lifetime.
If Bonnar defeats Silva, it will be considered by many as the greatest upset in UFC history. As proven so many times over the years, it's ludicrous to write off anyone in such an unpredictable sport like MMA.
Longtime fans have witnessed the impossible happen time and time again.
Bonnar will always be remembered for his epic battle with Griffin at the finale of "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 1. Some call it the greatest fight in UFC history. Others credit it as being the fight that put MMA on the map.
At UFC 153, Bonnar has a rare opportunity to do something much greater. He has a chance to come out of retirement and defeat the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world in his home country.
Can it be done?
Bonnar weighs in:
This is a defining moment of my whole life, everything I've gone through, all the martial arts I've done, all the training, MMA fights, and boxing matches, and wrestling and grappling. This is like the culmination of it all.
Really, I think it's all meant to be. It's perfect, it really is. It feels like all the stars are aligning just like it did on that magical night for the UFC back when I fought Forrest the first time, and I feel like I could shock the world.