Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva put on another captivating performance in the main event Saturday at UFC 153 in Rio. Silva destroyed Stephan ‘The American Psycho’ Bonnar with a first-round knockout that was set up by a brutal knee to the solar plexus.
Silva improved to 16-0 in the Octagon, 3-0 in the light heavyweight division. He hooked up his betting supporters as an outrageous favorite in the minus-1300 neighborhood.
Silva never felt threatened by Bonnar, who was able to turn the first 2 ½ minutes into a grappling contest against the cage. Both fighters exchanged a few knees but Bonnar wasn’t able to mount much offense.
Whey they separated, Silva basically pulled a ‘rope-a-dope’ move, leaning back against the cage with hands down, daring Bonnar to attack. Bonnar tried to find Silva with strikes, but it wasn’t happening.
Finally, after he was satisfied that he’d put on enough of a show for the crowd in his native country, Silva went on the attack and finished Bonnar quickly with the referee intervening with 21 seconds remaining in the opening stanza.
Silva became the first fighter to stop Bonnar by KO or submission.
So, what’s next for the long-time middleweight champion? He has two fights remaining on his UFC contract and has no interest in fighting rising contender Chris Weidman. If Georges St-Pierre can beat interim welterweight champ Carlos Condit at UFC 154, a superfight with GSP and Silva appears to be a certainty.
In the co-main event, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira scored a second-round submission (armbar) of Dave Herman as a healthy ‘chalk.’ Following a 10-month layoff due to a broken arm suffered in a loss to Frank Mir, Big Nog got back into the win column and won Submission of the Night honors.
Nogueira expressed an interest in continuing to fight top-10 opponents, but he’s not looking to make a run at the heavyweight belt against as long as Junior dos Santos is the champion. (Big Nog is JDS’s mentor.)
Jon Fitch got back into mix in the welterweight loop by capturing a unanimous-decision victory (30-27, 29-28 twice) over Erick Silva. Fitch got the win in a pick ‘em matchup, with both fighters taking home $70,000 for Fight of the Night.
Glover Teixeira won his 17th consecutive mixed martial arts match over Fabio Maldonado due to a doctor stoppage at the end of Round 2. Teixeira improved to 2-0 in the UFC and looks destined to face a top-10 foe in the light heavyweight division.
In a rematch of their recent no-contest due to an accidental eye poke, Phil ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Davis beat Wagner Prado with an anaconda choke late in the second round.
In the 170-pound division, Demian Maia was extremely impressive in putting on a Brazilian jiu-jitsu clinic in a win over Rick Story. Maia forced Story to tap at the 2:30 mark of the first round by rear-naked choke.
Brian Edwards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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