UFC 153 Predictions: What We Will Learn About Stephan Bonnar

Matt MolgaardCorrespondent IIIOctober 12, 2012

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  Stephan Bonnar is held by Mark Coleman during their light heavyweight bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Coleman defeated Bonnar by unanimous decision. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Stephan Bonnar will enter the cage tomorrow night to meet his most skilled opponent ever.

Anderson Silva hasn’t tasted defeat in well over six years and brings more to the table than any individual in which Bonnar has ever tangled with. He will be forced to dig deep in order to pull off what would be considered one of the greatest upsets in UFC history.

With an impressive 32-4 professional record, Anderson Silva has looked all but invincible since joining the UFC ranks.

With an almost unimaginable UFC record of 15-0, Silva has held firm in his clutch of the middleweight title for (almost exactly) six years, and he’s mixed things up a bit in the process, dispatching light heavyweights James Irvin and former champion Forrest Griffin.

Bonnar hasn’t shown half that promise inside the last half decade.

I’ll support that claim by putting things in perspective: In the time frame in which Silva has amassed his gaudy 15-0 record, Bonnar has put together five wins against five losses. He was beaten once in that specific stretch by Forrest Griffin, the same man who succumbed to Silva’s strikes inside of four minutes.

So why would anyone possibly believe Bonnar has any chance in this fight? We’re about to learn a few things about Stephan Bonnar that should probably already seem apparent.

Bonnar’s been around the block as a professional, fighting a total of 22 times.

He’s tangled with some serious competition throughout his career, having collided with the aforementioned Griffin on two occasions (neither fight yielded a nod in Bonnar’s favor), coming up short (ultimately due to a cut) against Lyoto Machida, taking current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to a decision (in a losing bid) and toppling rising prospect Igor Pokrajac and the resurgent Krzysztof Soszynski.

He’s proven his worth as a professional athlete.

He’s proven he fears no man.


Bonnar has proven himself a diverse finisher, with 10 of his 15 wins coming via stoppage (seven of which ended in submission). But beyond that, he’s proven a profoundly durable competitor. Tomorrow night, Stephan Bonnar will teach some, and remind others, that he’s one of the most buoyant fighters in the 205-pound division.

The guy isn’t going anywhere, plain and simple. Regardless of whom he fights, he shows up to do just that: fight.

Anderson Silva isn’t likely to break Bonnar’s will.

He may tear his face to shreds, prompting intervention from the referee and cage-side physicians, but the chances of a Silva’s previous bouts.

Bonnar’s ability to take a punch has been tested time and again, and he’s passed every test with flying colors. Outside of two stoppages via cut, Bonnar has never been stopped. He’ll likely provide another spirited performance, so expect to learn a bit more about how big “The American Psycho’s” will and desire to win is.

Beyond the benefit of experience, a well-rounded attack and extreme pliability within the confines of the cage, expect to be schooled in the realm of pure strength.

Bonnar is a huge light heavyweight.

In fact, he could easily be considered one of the largest 205 pounders competing today. Strength could easily play a factor, and if Bonnar can utilize his size advantage, he pressure and wear down Silva. If anyone can impose a top-heavy game, or bully Silva against the cage, it’s likely Stephan Bonnar.

What will unfold tomorrow night remains a mystery at this point, but Stephan Bonnar is likely to teach a few naysayers a thing or two. Never count out the underdog, never underestimate a man’s will to win and always recognize Bonnar for what he is: a massive light heavyweight with the skill set to possibly (I stress the word possibly) hand Anderson Silva his first loss in more than half a decade.

This fight will ultimately determine whether or not Stephan Bonnar is as tough as he’s been billed. Past performances seem to be evidence enough, but the picture can be skewed when we’re talking about a confrontation with Anderson Silva.

My bet is that Stephan Bonnar proves a whole lot of naysayers wrong; even if Stephan comes up short, I expect a very spirited effort from Bonnar.