Silva became the first man to finish Stephan Bonnar with strikes, as he dispatched “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 finalist with a savage first-round knee strike to the solar plexus and follow-up ground punches in the UFC 153 headliner on Saturday at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Bonnar (15-8, 8-7 UFC) met his end 4:40 into round one. Afterward, Silva reaffirmed his desire to remain at 185 pounds, where he has held the UFC championship for six years.
“I’m not going to fight at 205 pounds again. I fight at 185 pounds,” he said. “I only fought at [light heavyweight] to save the event and put on a show for everybody.”
Bonnar did what he could. He pressed “The Spider” in the clinch with short knees, elbows and punches. Once the two separated, Silva put his own back to the cage and dared Bonnar to engage, his hands dangling below his waist, his head completely exposed. The Hammond, Ind., native hit the mark with a few punches. Many others found only air. Later, Silva tripped “The American Psycho” and, as Bonnar turned his back to return to his feet, the Brazilian unleashed the knee that for all intents and purposes finished the fight. A few standing-to-ground right hands made it official.
Silva has now won 17 consecutive fights, a record 16 of them inside the Octagon.
“I’m not the best,” he said. “I just believe that I can do things that people think are impossible.”
“I feel so happy, because this man said jiu-jitsu doesn’t work, but jiu-jitsu does work and it’s a Brazilian art,” Nogueira said. “It was a beautiful position. I’m sure that he does practice jiu-jitsu, because he knows how to defend himself.”
Nogueira (34-7-1, 5-3 UFC), who had not fought since suffering a horrific arm injury at UFC 140 in December, pressed Herman in the clinch in the first round. In the second, with the Team Quest export fading, Nogueira struck for a takedown, moved to mount and transitioned to the armbar. Herman defended well for a time, but “Minotauro” would not be denied.
“I just had 16 screws and a big plate in my arm after my last fight,” Nogueira said. “I came on a plane with [UFC President] Dana White, who supported me very much. The UFC got me the best doctor, and, 10 months later, I’m here fighting for you guys.”
Teixeira (19-2, 2-0 UFC) clipped his fellow Brazilian with a pair of left hooks in the first round, the second of which drove him to the mat. The John Hackleman protégé followed him to the ground and smashed away with nearly 100 combined punches and elbows. Only an attempted arm-triangle choke interrupted the beating. The two men were restarted near the end of the round, and, out of nowhere, Maldonado (18-6, 1-3 UFC) landed a clean left hook that briefly left Teixeira on wobbly legs. It was the last meaningful offense he offered.
Teixeira moved to the ground again in round two and ultimately advanced to full mount, continuing to plunge elbows and punches into Maldonado’s barely recognizable face. At the conclusion of the second five minutes, the cageside physician deemed Maldonado had absorbed enough punishment. Afterward, Teixeira took aim at the man he was originally booked to face.
“I would like to fight Quinton Jackson,” he said. “He was talking all this crap, and I never talked bad about him. He is my idol. I loved that guy when he was coming up in Pride, but he said I was talking bad about him. I wasn’t talking bad about him; I’m just afraid of no man. Step in the ring with me. I’ll fight anyone.”
Jon Fitch File Photo
Fitch at times dominated Silva.
Relentless in his pursuit of victory, Fitch wore down Silva in the clinch and on the ground. The Team Nogueira representative cracked Fitch with a right hand in the first round and tried to submit him with a rear-naked choke in the second. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native calmly worked his way out of danger, returned to his feet and resumed his attack.
“I knew I was safe there,” Fitch said. “I’m extremely difficult to finish. Before the B.J. Penn fight [at UFC 127], I spent hundreds of hours with top black belts on my back, and I’m very comfortable there. I knew that if he wasn’t working to gain top position that he was wasting energy underneath me.”
Clearly exhausted, Silva had nothing left in the tank for the third. Fitch grounded him early and then unleashed a hellish assault, spearheaded by punches and elbows. Silva offered nothing from the bottom and retreated to his corner visibly dejected when the horn sounded. It was undoubtedly an eye-opening experience for the promising 28-year-old.
“I would have beaten anybody tonight,” Fitch said. “I don’t care who it was or what weight class. My family needed this win and I needed this win, so I had to do what I had to do.”
Davis (10-1, 6-1 UFC) dominated the Brazilian from the start. He struck for multiple takedowns in the first round, passed the Prado guard without much resistance and controlled the match from top position. In the second, he delivered another takedown and locked in an arm-triangle choke. Prado freed himself, but Davis caught him in the anaconda choke on the exit and finished it.
“Normally, I’m the young lion coming in,” Davis said. “I’ll tell you, it’s definitely a different feeling getting in the gym and knowing that somebody like Wagner is coming to [knock] your block off. [The anaconda choke] is one of my high-percentage moves. I didn’t even get a chance to fully lock it in, but it worked.”
Maia (17-4, 11-4 UFC) secured a takedown inside the first minute, and from there, it was all downhill for his opponent. He moved to mount, punched his way onto Story’s back and secured his hooks. Maia, a 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist, tried first for the rear-naked choke and then transitioned to the neck crank. The pressure forced blood to spew from Story’s mouth and nose an instant before he tapped out.
“I wanted very much to fight here and finish my fight,” Maia said. “I tried the rear-naked, but, with the gloves, sometimes it’s hard.”More UFC 153 » • UFC 153 Prelims: Rony ‘Jason’ Hammerfists Stop Sam Sicilia in Second
Anderson Silva and Kelvin Gastelum face off for the first time ahead of UFC Fight Night 122 on Nov. 25. Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>
UFC 218’s spectacular lineup continues to fill and the latest official contests include a strawweight bout and a light heavyweight matchup.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube) UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson etched his name in the history books on Saturday night in Las Vegas. In the UFC 216 co-main event, he submitted Ray B read news >>
Georges St-Pierre has enlisted the help of a former opponent ahead of his UFC 217 title fight with Michael Bisping.Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC read news >>
Though he is slated to challenge Michael Bisping at UFC 217, Georges St-Pierre had a possible bout with Anderson Silva in the offing. read news >>
Kurt Holobaugh’s rep says his UFC contract isn’t canceled, and his team plans to fight a nine-month suspension for IV use. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Flyweight fighter Ian McCall has been granted his release from the UFC after asking the organization to void his contract recently. UFC officials confirmed the news to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday. McCal read news >>
“The AK Kid” will soon look to claim a welterweight title previously held by two current UFC signees.Filed under: News read news >>
Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega will make their returns to the Octagon opposite one another in the UFC Fight Night main event in Fresno, Calif. read news >>
The UFC’s anti-doping partner USADA today notified fighters of changes to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>