The UFC returned to the country of Brazil tonight for the third time this year with UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar in Rio de Janeiro. The headliner of the stacked event saw Anderson Silva defeat Stephan Bonnar by TKO in the first round while Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira picked up a submission win against Dave Herman in the co-main event of the evening.
Aside from the main event, a mixed bag of (T)KO’s, submissions and decisions filled the card. The high points of the night were Nogueira’s submission win, the battle between Fitch and Silva and Demian Maia’s statement win over Rick Story.
Catch my UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar post-fight thoughts and analysis for the main card below.
- Anderson Silva added another win to his historic resume by defeating Stephan Bonnar by TKO in the first round in an absolutely beautiful performance in the UFC 153 headliner. Silva toyed with Bonnar from the very beginning of the fight by holding his hands down, pressing his back against the cage and taunting. In trademark Silva fashion, “The Spider” plotted his time and waited for his moment to attack and when Bonnar made a mistake the Brazilian attacked with a knee to the body followed by strikes that ended the fight. Silva became the first man to finish “The American Psycho” and showed once again why he is the greatest fighter to ever compete in mixed martial arts.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira came back from his devastating arm injury at the hands of Frank Mir with a textbook armbar win over Dave Herman second round of their co-main event affair. Nogueira controlled every aspect of the fight from the stand-up to the grappling for his first submission win since Feb. 2, 2008. There were doubts about Nogueira’s future in the sport after his gruesome loss to Mir last December, but the former PRIDE and interim UFC heavyweight champion proved he still has a lot left in the tank by taking out a dangerous opponent and handing Herman the first submission loss of his 26-fight professional career. While “Minotauro” may never become champion again, he is still one of the most decorated fighters in the history of the sport and, win or lose, every time he steps into the cage only adds to his legacy.
- Glover Teixeira brought 10-minutes of hell to the face of Fabio Maldonado to earn a TKO win by doctor’s stoppage and move to 2-0 since joining the UFC. Teixeira was on the offense from the outset as he beat the pulp out of Maldonado in one of the most lopsided fights in recent memory. Even though he was on the losing end of nearly every second of the fight, Maldonado had his moment when he stunned Teixeira badly with a strike near the end of the first round. Much to the chagrin of Maldonado and the Brazilian crowd, the ringside doctor stopped the fight after the second round. Even though Maldonado could have easily kept fighting, the stoppage was completely justified. Maldonado has lost three straight fights, but there’s no arguing he is one of the toughest fighters in the UFC and should be a mainstay in the UFC light heavyweight division regardless of his record in the octagon. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Teixeira remains of the most dangerous contenders at 205-pounds and called out Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. The fight between Teixeira and “Rampage” was supposed to happen at UFC 153 before Jackson got injured. There is no question the match is still one fans want to see.
- Jon Fitch brought an end to Erick Silva’s hype train in on one of the best back-and-forth fights you will ever see with Fitch emerging the victor by unanimous decision. Both fighters threw big strikes, nearly submitted each other and had the crowd roaring after an outstanding 15 minutes of competition. The majority of the fight was classic Fitch as he landed takedowns, worked ground-and-pound and attempted submissions. Silva did his best to stop Fitch’s attack, though, as he scored a few takedowns of his own and had his American counterpart inches away from tapping with very close rear-naked and guillotine choke attempts. On the heels of a devastating 12-second knockout loss to Johnny Hendricks last December, Fitch needed a memorable performance and he absolutely had one at the expense of Silva. What a fight.
- Phil Davis defeated Wagner Prado by second-round submission to put a controversy-free end to their two-fight series after the first meeting between the two in August ended in a no contest as a result of a Davis eye-poke. Davis put on a grappling clinic as he completely outclassed Prado in every way possible when it came to the ground game. About half way through the second round it appeared Davis was comfortable with out-positioning Prado to a decision until “Mr. Wonderful” went for an arm-triangle. Prado escaped the initial submission attempt but quickly after Davis secured an anaconda choke that had Prado tapping before it was completely locked in. Davis gets back in the win column after going winless in back-to-back fights and has unquestionably lined himself up for a big name fight in the light heavyweight division.
- Demian Maia earned his first submission win since Feb. 2009 when he submitted Rick Story in the first round to push his record in the UFC welterweight division to 2-0. Story came out overly aggressive when the fight began and Maia took advantage by quickly taking the fight to the ground. From there, Maia showed a clear advantage in grappling skill as he dominated Story from every position, eventually securing the back and locking in a neck crack at the 2:30 mark. It was hard to gauge where Maia stood in the 170-pound division after his debut against Dong-Hyun Kim last July, however at UFC 153 he showed he is a force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division. The Brazilian looked stellar against Story and has revived his career in a big way.