Just when you thought that things finally seemed stable and steady after the disaster of the UFC 149-injury epidemic, and UFC 151 cancellation, the UFC gets hit with another wave of chaos. Following the reports of three injuries in one day, many of us fans were left in question on what the UFC was going to do to “patch up the holes”.
UFC 153 got the worst of it as it lost it’s main event (Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar) and it’s co-main event match between Quinton Jackson and Glover Teixeira. If you have been skeptical about the UFC’s match making and match maker Joe Silva in the past, than I’m sure you were with me when you felt a little uneasy about this situation. Obviously losing your main event and co-main event is enough of a disaster, but sometimes you can cause even more damage by your replacement.
Now, I’m not Joe Silva and I don’t know all of the details that went into the decision-making behind UFC 153, but their choice of replacement fights gave me a very bizarre feeling. Set to replace the main event is a light-heavyweight showdown between MMA G.O.A.T Anderson Silva, and UFC veteran Stephan Bonnar.
I’m sure I’m with the majority when I say that this match up makes zero sense to me. Sure, Stephan Bonnar was saying that he wanted a big fight, but you have to come to reality; Bonnar does have any wins over any top 10 opponents, he is only 8-6 in the UFC, has non-officially retired, hasn’t fought in about a year, and has probably the best style to get him knocked out in this fight with Silva.
Now, I know Stephan Bonnar has a chance to win this fight and I’ll actually be rooting for him as he will come in at a massive +830 underdog, but I can’t help but wonder what was going through Joe Silva’s mind when he made this match up. What happened to the possibilities of Rashad Evans? Thiago Silva? Chris Weidman? Even a potential fight against Daniel Cormier (Who has talked about dropping down to 205) would spark more interest than Stephan Bonnar. Well enough ranting for me about the match up, what’s done is done and it’s time to accept it and look forward to it because it’s guaranteed to be exciting (For as long as it lasts).
Moving onto the co-main event; returning Brazilian heavyweight star Antonio Nogueira will be returning after a 10-month layoff to face heavyweight contender Dave Herman. Again, this match up really does not excite me all that much considering it’s Nogueira against a younger, stronger, more powerful fighter who has just as much of a chance of knocking his dome off as anybody else. I’ll be rooting personally for Nogueira, but this has disappointment written all over it for Big Nog fans.
However let’s not forget about another match up that was recently made. The former co-headliner match up featured rising Brazilian prospect Glover Teixeira who has been pegged as being the next “big thing” at 205 lbs. After his impressive debut back in May, he was scheduled to face former champion Rampage Jackson. With Jackson out, Glover is now scheduled to face light-heavyweight striking sensation Fabio Maldonado, whom is looking to make shockwaves throughout the division with his boxing skills.
I am actually very intrigued by this match up. I think we will either see Teixeira’s striking game showcase itself against a top striker in Maldonado, or we could see Teixeira showcase some of his black-belt level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Or, we could see Maldonado derail the hype train of Glover Teixeira and put his own name back on track and end his 2-loss streak.
While UFC 153 may have undergone some drastic changes, I think that it is still a solid card. Being held in Brazil, it features a lot of big Brazilian names on the card which should easily be able to draw a large audience. Some match ups may be a bit ridiculous to me, but I have been proven wrong by Joe Silva before. I’m looking forward to these entertaining Fall cards, and will be looking to see if Stephan Bonnar can rise to the occasion and pull of what would be the upset of the century. Thanks for reading!
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