Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar: What Went Right for 'The Spider'

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Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar: What Went Right for 'The Spider'
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Rio de Janeiro has been a hotbed for mixed martial arts activity for years, and in the UFC's most recent trip to Brazil, the best Brazilian fighters in the world represented their nation with pride. 

Leading the charge was pound-for-pound kingpin Anderson Silva, the longtime UFC middleweight champion, who battered and humiliated Stephan Bonnar en route to his third first-round stoppage in as many light-heavyweight contests.

Silva had previously bested several men who had successful careers at 205 pounds, such as Forrest Griffin, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Vitor Belfort and James Irvin, although many of those bouts occurred at middleweight.

So, what went right for Silva? 

Aside from a slip in the fight's opening seconds, The Spider seemed unconcerned with anything that happened in the fight. Realizing that Bonnar wanted to clinch and use dirty boxing up against the cage, Silva calmly defended himself from everything that "The American Psycho" threw in his direction and escaped danger.

In an interesting move that must have made Bonnar feel completely insignificant, Silva would walk back to the cage and press himself against it as a way of saying: "You want to fight over here? Ok. Let's do it."

While the strategy could have proved fatal, the head games of Silva were, once again, some of the most successful tools he brought into the cage. 

After proving that he can take the best that the TUF alum could dish out, Silva wasted little time in calling it an early night in Brazil. Unleashing a nasty knee that landed hard to the chin and upper chest of Bonnar, Silva followed his opponent to the ground, where some ground strikes called a halt to the contest with 20 seconds left in the opening frame.

Improve his record to 16-0? Check. Come to the aid of the UFC? Check. Show that he is invulnerable from yet another position? Check. Become the only man to KO Bonnar? Check.

I guess the better question is, "What didn't go right for Anderson Silva last night?"

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