Update on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. ET by Alex Hall
The weigh in process has concluded for UFC's big pay-per-view event in Brazil, with the participants in the main events obviously taking center stage. Here's the highlights of the weigh in via UFC's official Youtube account.
Renee Forte will also be participating in the event in his home country of Brazil, realizing his preliminary fight against Sergio Moraes is for his career. Forte told MMAJunkie.com:
I teach jiu-jitsu, though currently that's on hold so I could train for my upcoming fight; that's the most important fight of my life. I want to be able to live 100 percent off my fights in one of the biggest promotions. It's been my dream since I was young.
Moraes' opponent also told the website he realizes everyone's last image of him in the octagon was one of him tapping out, but vows things will be different this time around.
Despite the fact UFC 153 has yet to even start, the company is already sold on the fact they want to come back to Brazil. In a Oct. 11 press conference (via mmafighting.com), UFC director of international development Marshall Zelaznick acknowledged that the MMA giant will be returning to the country in 2013.
"Every one of the cities in Brazil are trying to get a hold of us to have meeting to bring the event, and we’re confident that if we held an event in any stadium in Brazil, it would be a massive success," said Zelaznick.
---End of Update---
While the UFC has been struggling with drawing in fans to their live events and pay-per-views, the reason issues have arisen with UFC 153 is because the injury bug continues to devastate the roster.
The company will travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Oct. 13 for their latest PPV, but the hype around a card featuring Anderson Silva is nowhere near where it should be.
Dana White and UFC officials are trying their best to put together a product that MMA fans can get behind, but too many main events have been ruined due to injuries for the company to be considered reliable.
With just a few days until the big event, the UFC is doing their best to build as much hype in this short time period, but so far it has been very unsuccessful.
If Anderson Silva can’t draw a substantial increase in viewers on short notice, no fighter in the UFC will be able to do so.
Anderson Silva Looking For GSP
In news that will undoubtedly make MMA fans' ears perk up, Ariel Helwani conducted an interview with Anderson Silva earlier this week and the subject of Georges St-Pierre came up.
Helwani asked Silva point blank if St-Pierre was his focus after this fight. "Yeah," Silva said.
We have heard rumors and speculation about that potential super-fight for a long time. Silva seems on board. St-Pierre just has to defeat Carlos Condit when he returns and agree to the weight.
Neither obstacle is a small one to clear, but if the money is right, anything can happen.
Full PPV Fight Card
Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dave Herman
Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonado
Erick Silva vs. Jon Fitch
Wagner Prado vs. Phil Davis
Demian Maia vs. Rick Story
Preliminary Fight Card
Fights on FX:
Rony Jason vs. Sam Sicilia
Gleison Tibau vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Diego Brandao vs. Joey Gambino
Sergio Moraes vs. Renee Forte
Fights on Facebook:
Luiz Cane vs. Chris Camozzi
Cristiano Marcello vs. Reza Madadi
Fighters That Pulled Out
Vitor Belfort—The former UFC Champion was pulled out of his scheduled fight (h/t MMA Junkie) with Alan Belcher to fight Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title at UFC 152. Belfort lost in his title shot, but fans can’t blame him for stepping up to fight a champion when asked by the UFC.
Alan Belcher—While there is no doubt the fans wanted to see Alan Belcher and Vitor Belfort, the UFC’s choice to break up this match was a blessing in disguise. Soon after Belcher was told he would not fight Belfort, the MMA veteran announced he had a fractured spine (h/t Belcher’s Twitter).
Quinton Jackson—After being scheduled to face Glover Teixeira at UFC 153, the MMA veteran was forced to pull out of the event due to an undisclosed injury (h/t MMA Junkie).
Rashad Evans—After Quinton Jackson was pulled from the PPV, Dana White and UFC officials asked former champion Rashad Evans if he would be interested in taking the fight against Glover Teixeira, but turned it down due to lack of time to prepare (h/t Rashad Evans’ Twitter).
Geronimo dos Santos—UFC officials announced Geronimo dos Santos would not fight at UFC 153 after being injured, but the company went no further with their explanation (h/t MMA Junkie).
Gabriel Gonzaga—While there was nothing medically wrong with Gabriel Gonzaga, the fight was scratched all together after Geronimo dos Santos pulled out and a viable opponent wasn’t found in time (h/t MMA Junkie).
Erik Koch—After being scheduled to fight UFC Featherweight champion José Aldo at UFC 153, Koch was forced to pull out of the event with an undisclosed injury (h/t USA Today).
Frankie Edgar—With Koch out of the main event, the UFC pushed Frankie Edgar to the title fight, but the veteran was also forced out of the fight (h/t MMA Junkie). These injuries are what caused the hastily thrown together main event we have now.
Jose Aldo—Aldo was scheduled to main event UFC 153, but a foot injury caused the star to remove himself from the card, according to ESPN. It would have been the fourth title defense for the featherweight champion.
Main Event Prediction
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar
While many fans weren’t expecting to see Anderson Silva headline this Brazilian card, that is the steps that a veteran will take to keep the business that has treated him so well going.
Other top-tier fighters such as Jon Jones and Rashad Evans have turned down mega-fights that could have saved cards because of lack of preparation time, but Silva was willing to put in the extra work to give the MMA fans what they want.
More fighters need to step up just as Silva has done for UFC 153.
With that said being though, more fighters would step up if the caliber of fighter they were scheduled to face was that of Stephan Bonnar. While the former Ultimate Fighter runner-up has been a crowd favorite since Day 1, he doesn’t stand a chance against the much more versatile Silva.
If Bonnar stands and trades shots with Silva, the challenger will find himself knocked out by the end of the first round. Since that is Bonnar’s offensive attack in a nutshell, this fight won’t go very long.
Final Word: Anderson Silva wins via first-round TKO