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UFC 153 Fight Card: Ranking the Main Card Fights

Scott HarrisFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2012

UFC 153 Fight Card: Ranking the Main Card Fights

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    UFC 153 goes down Saturday from the fabulous HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Because Anderson Silva's on the card, and because he's on there against a dead man walking in Stephan Bonnar, most of the spotlight is trained on the curiosity that is the main event.

    But the entire main card is a rich one, promising plenty of rewards for those who don't wait for the bar to stop charging a cover. Here's a ranking of those fights, from least interesting to most interesting.

6. Erick Silva vs. Jon Fitch

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    Welterweight Bout

    Erick Silva is good. But he's not Jon Fitch good.

    Don't get me wrong, though. I understand your concerns. Jon Fitch is boring. He doesn't work for the finish. He's always laying on people. He's an abomination against mankind and mixed martial arts and Asian character tattoos. I get it.

    But Fitch is going to roll over the young buck like a road grader over a wolverine. And he's going to notify us all that he's still among the elite.

    It's all very good for Fitch, but bad for bloodthirsty fight fans. That's why I've got it ranked at the bottom. If Silva wins, a post-fight card ranking might look a little different.

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dave Herman

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    Heavyweight Bout

    It's been 10 months since Frank Mir broke Big Nog's humerus. That's the femur of arm bones. That's certainly not going to help a fighter's career. Not going to streamline any techniques. Especially when the fighter attached to that humerus is 36 going on 52, as is Nogueira.

    Nogueira wasn't exactly crisp in his standup, even in the best of times. We'll see if the heavy-throwing Herman can impose his will in that phase. Meanwhile, Nogueira has 20 wins by submission, while Herman has said he doesn't think jiu-jitsu "works."

    So we've either got a slow-paced standup fight or a slow-paced ground battle on our hands. Pick your poison. The only hope is a quick out. Add this to a lack of any discernible title implications, and the co-main event, while assembled admirably on short notice, does not exactly cause a lot of slavering in the jowlular area.  

4. Demian Maia vs. Rick Story

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    Welterweight Bout

    Demian Maia may be 34, but he's still improving.

    When you're a world jiu-jitsu champ, improvement comes in the striking department. He's looked pretty good there in his last few fights, including his welterweight debut over highly regarded Dong Hyun Kim. He uses the threat of his jiu-jitsu to make his punches more dangerous, which is fine. It is mixed martial arts, after all.

    Meanwhile, Rick Story is a heavy-handed wrestler type. Can he fight off his back? Is there a chance this becomes a b-level dirty boxing match, with neither man possessing the strength or skill to finish or gain a major advantage over the other? I don't love my options here, though the winner will take a clear step up in the ranks. 

3. Wagner Prado vs. Phil Davis

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    Light Heavyweight Bout

    Maybe I've got Eric Prindle-Thiago Santos on the brain, but part of me is thinking that the weirdness between these two isn't going to end with just one eye poke. Just a random hunch. 

    If it doesn't go that way, I feel like both are set to release a lot of pent-up rage in this one, not to mention pent-up knowledge of the other man's tendencies. Both will have something to prove after Davis' eye poke cut their first fight short. This is especially true for Prado, who is the more exciting fighter anyway but could be looking for extra fireworks in his first non-eye-poke-shortened (we assume) UFC fight. 

2. Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar

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    Light Heavyweight Bout

    This fight is like riding a bull. Exciting while it lasts, but the end is not in doubt.

    Not much else to say about this one that hasn't already been said. Middleweight and pound-for-pound champ Anderson Silva is the presumptive winner. Stephan Bonnar is well known, affable, and always game for a fight. Sometimes that's all you need.  

1. Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonado

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    Light Heavyweight Bout

    This is a good fight that isn't getting enough props for being a good fight. Yes, Glover Teixeira has a high ceiling. But so does Fabio Maldonado, a successful former boxer and a BJJ brown belt under the Nogueira bothers. Fight of the Night, right here.


    Follow Scott Harris on Twitter.

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