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Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar: 5 Questions We Have About Silva

Nathan McCarterFeatured Columnist IVAugust 28, 2016

Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar: 5 Questions We Have About Silva

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    Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar will face one another in the main event of UFC 153. The replacement main event takes over for the UFC featherweight championship match originally planned.

    Fans are now treated to watching Silva one more time in 2012, as Bonnar tries to pull off one of the biggest upsets in MMA history and cement his UFC legacy.

    Whatever happens, this matchup has all the makings of an exciting fight, and the one sure winner in this instance is the fans.

    This is not a fight to determine a top contender and there is no title on the line. This is simply a good fight.

    Here are five questions we are asking about Silva leading in to UFC 153.

Can He Out Grapple Bonnar?

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    Silva has displayed fantastic grappling in his previous fights, but can he handle the skill and size of Bonnar?

    Silva was taken down and mounted by an emaciated Travis Lutter, and Chael Sonnen brutalized him at UFC 117. Bonnar has the ground skills to do both to Silva. He is also the stronger fighter in this matchup.

    This will be an interesting battle on the ground because both men are excellent jiu-jitsu practitioners.

    Will Silva be able to pull off a submission from the bottom once again? More importantly, can he stymie Bonnar's top game should the fight go to the mat?

What Kind of Shape Will He Be In?

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    How will Silva—and Bonnar, for that matter—handle accepting a fight on short notice?

    Should the fight remain standing, Silva's cardio will not be much of an issue. However, if Bonnar can make Silva carry his big frame, he can tire his Brazilian opponent quicker than normal.

    In a three-round fight, every tiny advantage ends up being massive.

    How did Silva spend his time after UFC 148? What was his diet? How in shape was he when he first accepted the bout?

    Bonnar must still implement his game plan, but if he is able to pressure Silva, we will get a look into how much Silva's cardio will be affected.

Is He Overlooking Bonnar?

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    Silva has said that his focus is on Bonnar for Saturday night (via ESPN), but why would he bring up GSP if he is not already looking forward? 

    I love martial arts and the UFC. I love combat sports. I love training. I have two or three fights left in my career and after Saturday, my focus will be Georges St-Pierre. But that is for Sunday. Now my focus is only Bonnar and bringing a great show to the fans on Saturday night.

    Generally, a fighter is not making plans for his next huge fight if he is legitimately focused on his upcoming fight. With that said, I am not in the mind of the greatest fighter of all time.

    It seems a potential superfight with GSP is on the horizon, but Bonnar is a significant threat to topple Silva. He cannot be taken lightly, no matter how big of an underdog.

    Talk of GSP versus Silva will surely excite a lot of fans, but it will be all for naught if he does not get past Bonnar at UFC 153.

Will He Finish Bonnar?

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    Silva is a huge favorite, for good reason, but Bonnar has only been stopped twice in his career. Both times via cut.

    Bonnar is a tough, durable fighter who may be able to avoid getting his clock cleaned by the middleweight champion. Submitting Bonnar will be even tougher for Silva. The question isn't can he finish Bonnar, it's will he finish Bonnar?

    Silva has the tools, but that is a tough task to ask of anyone. It is a testament to what fighters do not want to be known for—being able to take a beating.

    Bonnar has been taken to the woodshed before, but always hangs around and lets the judges render their decision on the whooping. Being the first man to stop Bonnar without the assistance of a cut will be very impressive, but will Silva be able to do it?

How Will He Impress Us This Time?

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    Somehow, some way, the UFC middleweight champion finds a way to impress us in every fight.

    What will he do at UFC 153?

    Silva is fascinating to watch. His precision and creativity on his feet is remarkable. Could we see another one-of-a-kind knockout or an incredible submission? It is definitely within the realm of possibility with Silva.

    Even as it looked like Sonnen was going to ride out a decision at UFC 117, Silva impressed us with his last-ditch effort triangle choke. At UFC 112, while it was an underwhelming overall performance, his ability to make Demian Maia look foolish was impressive.

    Something special happens every time "The Spider" enters the Octagon. Something special will happen at UFC 153, but what will it be?

    All of these questions will be answered on Saturday night, and I can't wait for Silva to answer them.

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