• UFC 153

Anderson Silva embarrasses Bonnar at UFC 153

ESPN staff
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Anderson Silva once again used the Octagon as his stage to laugh at the rest of MMA's mere mortals on Saturday as he turned his fight with Stephan Bonnar into child's play at UFC 153.

Silva, stepping outside his natural comfort zone to fight at light-heavyweight, made the bout even more unnatural as he purposefully fought with his back against the cage. Seemingly playing Bonnar's game, he then exploded late in the first round to become the first man to finish the American Psycho via TKO (other than by cuts).

Bonnar's career defining moment will always be his memorable war with Forrest Griffin, arguably the best fight ever seen in the UFC. Silva had previously embarrassed Griffin in an earlier switch to 205lbs, and on Saturday he repeated the feat against Bonnar.

The fight did not start as the Brazilian would have planned, with a slip allowing Bonnar to instantly clinch and look for the takedown. However, Silva fended off those intentions, and then voluntarily chose to stay against the cage and let Bonnar throw his best shots.

The world's greatest mixed martial artist looked and moved with disdain as he ducked and weaved away from Bonnar's best efforts, all the time landing short, sharp efforts of his own.

Then came the explosion. Silva, switching to sniper mode, suddenly burst onto the offensive, chasing Bonnar across the cage and flooring him with a perfectly timed knee. The American collapsed, clearly already done, but Silva finished him off for yet another memorable night's work.

"I'm not the best. I just believe I can do things that people think impossible," Silva said. "I won't fight at 205 again, I was doing it to save the event, but I won't fight at 205 again."

In what was arguably the most significant battle of the night - later awarded the Fight of the Night award, Erick Silva came within a whisker of submitting Jon Fitch before losing a unanimous decision 30-27 29-28 29-28. Silva locked on a deep rear naked choke in round two, but Fitch showed why he is considered the toughest man to submit in the UFC, fending off the 24th attempt of his career.

The first round belonged to Fitch in typically grinding fashion, twice pulling Silva to the mat either side of some eye-catching strikes from the Brazilian, who landed a front kick to the head, an overhand right and a spinning heel kick.

Round two was Silva's best as he swept Fitch to the mat before threatening the submission, but he was visibly shattered by round three and was hammered by the Fitch meat grinder in what arguably could have been a 10-8 final stanza.

"I would have beat anybody tonight because my family needed the money," Fitch said. "I knew I was safe [from the submission], I'm difficult to submit, I spent hundreds of hours on that stuff for the BJ Penn fight. He was just wasting energy underneath me."

Erick Silva was close to finishing Jon Fitch © Getty Images
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Glover Teixeira overcame a real scare from Fabio Maldonado in a quite unbelievable fight at 205lbs, which eventually ended via doctor stoppage after Maldonado took one of the all-time UFC beatings. Teixeira had Maldonado on wobbly legs during round one, with the cage the only thing keeping his rival up, but from nowhere Maldonado landed a left hook that rocked his opponent.

Teixeira landed over 100 power shots in that opening stanza as Maldonado was dropped and beaten up in brutal fashion, eating a series of nasty elbows that completely messed up his face. The Brazilian has one of the biggest hearts in the UFC though and he took the fight deeper, but when the second stanza ended the doctor finally stepped in with Maldonado unable to stand solidly on two feet.

In the night's co-main event, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira made his return from the broken arm picked up against Frank Mir, claiming Submission of the Night honours in spectacular fashion against Dave Herman via armbar at 4.31 of round two. Nogueira recovered from a sluggish start to drop Herman with a left hook, before later going to work on the mat - showing world class jiu-jitsu to force the tap as Anderson Silva shed tears back stage.

"This guy said jiu-jitsu doesn't work. Jiu-jitsu is Brazilian, and it's an art," Nogueira said.

The opening fight of the main card saw Demian Maia put on a Brazilian jiu-jitsu clinic against Rick Story, winning via rear naked choke after 2.30 of the first round. Maia, who is now 2-0 at welterweight, looked seriously impressive as he swarmed Story from the start, making a slick adjustment to the hand-to-hand grip to force the tap.

And there was further competition for the Submission of the Night award from Phil Davis, who out-wrestled and out-grappled Wagner Prado for a second-round victory via anaconda choke. In a rematch of two light-heavyweights, after the first bout was ended by an accidental eye poke, Davis dominated Prado and applied multiple submission attempts, eventually using the gator roll to clinch the stoppage at 4.29 of round two.

UFC 153 results:
Anderson Silva bt Stephan Bonnar via TKO 4.40 of round 1
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira bt Dave Herman via armbar at 4.31 of round 2
Glover Teixeira bt Fabio Maldonado via TKO (doctor's stoppage) at 5.00 of round 2
Jon Fitch bt Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-27 29-28 29-28)
Phil Davis bt Wagner Prado via anaconda choke at 4.29 of round 2
Demian Maia bt Rick Story via rear naked choke at 2.30 of round 1
Rony Mariano Bezerra bt Sam Sicilia via TKO at 4.16 of round 2
Gleison Tibau bt Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision ((29-28 29-28 29-28)
Diego Brandao bt Joey Gambino via unanimous decision (30-27 30-27 30-27)
Sergio Moraes bt Renee Forte via rear naked choke at 3.10 of round 3
Chris Camozzi bt Luiz Cane via unanimous decision (29-28 29-28 29-28)
Cristiano Marcello bt Reza Madadi via split decision (29-28 28-29 30-27)

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