In tonight's main event, Stephan Bonnar will have a chance to make history against longtime middleweight champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva.
Stephan Bonnar gained his fame in a legendary brawl with Forrest Griffin seven years ago. Since then, he has garnered a respectable, though not overly impressive, 8-5 record in the UFC.
I do believe his skills are better than his record may suggest. I firmly believe that Stephan Bonnar's solid standup abilities and strong top game could allow him to defeat some of the UFC's top 10 light heavyweights.
But I cannot imagine him defeating Anderson Silva. I don't think he can win with his grappling, and he certainly can't win with his striking. His willpower and durability, while impressive, won't be enough to make up for the insurmountable difference in skill.
Still, I am very much looking forward to this fight. And that isn't simply because Anderson Silva almost always gives his fans a spectacular performance worth remembering.
It's because Stephan Bonnar is a ruthless man who can push Silva.
When the bell rings and Bonnar faces off against the greatest fighter in the world, I want to see him go for broke. I want to see him redefine the limitations of the human spirit. I want to see the durability and heart he has shown throughout his career pressure the most intimidating fighter the sport has ever known.
I don't want him to use the optimal winning strategy. I don't want him to win on points with lazy top control and prolonged periods of time against the cage.
But I do want him to try to win. I want him to give it everything he's got while staying completely true to himself. I want to see what it looks like when a man so hopelessly outmatched refuses to surrender.
Fans probably won't get to see such a fight. It's easy enough to imagine Silva effortlessly defeat Bonnar. Still, at the very least, I want to see one of the most important and one of the most exciting fighters in MMA history to leave the sport with a performance that he will be proud of and that fans will be happy to see.