After UFC 153 lost its main event and co-main event in the same day, UFC matchmakers needed to get creative if they wanted to avoid another financially devastating event-cancellation. And by God, they’ve gotten creative. USA Today has just confirmed that Anderson Silva will now be headlining the October 13th event in Rio de Janeiro, in a light-heavyweight feature against…Stephan, freakin’, Bonnar. Allow that delicious insanity to sink in for just a moment. Alright, let’s continue.
The report follows an earlier story broken by MMAFighting, which confirmed that Frankie Edgar has been removed from the event altogether. So if you chose “other” in today’s poll, award yourself five PotatoBux.
This will be the third light-heavyweight UFC appearance for Silva, who previously scored brilliant knockouts against 205′ers James Irvin (in July 2008) and Forrest Griffin (in August 2009). Bonnar, who is currently riding a three-fight win streak, has been vocal in recent months about his desire to get at least one more big fight before he exits the sport — remember his campaign for a TUF coaching gig against Griffin? — and sort of retired in July due to his frustration that another marquee matchup wasn’t materializing. Well, Bonnar’s got his big fish, for better or for worse. And if he lasts more than one round against the Spider, he’ll do better than any UFC light-heavyweight before him.
USA Today also reports that Brazilian gut-puncher Fabio Maldonado will be replacing Quinton Jackson in the UFC 153 co-main event against light-heavyweight rising star Glover Teixeira. Maldonado, who has lost back-to-back decisions against Kyle Kingsbury and Igor Pokrajac, was originally scheduled to fight Jorgen Kruth at UFC on FX 5 later this month, until Kruth retired out of the blue.
Also thickening up the UFC 153 main card will be a heavyweight feature between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira — who’s coming back from his arm-shattering loss to Frank Mir in December — and Dave Herman, who has been knocked out in his last two fights against Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson.
As UFC president Dana White said about the new matchups:
“We’re back on track. Anderson Silva wasn’t scheduled to fight at all. I called him today, and he’s shooting a commercial in Brazil. Anderson Silva steps up, and Stephan Bonnar wants to fight him. The Teixeira vs. Maldonado fight comes together, and then Nogueira was standing right there with Anderson shooting the commercial with him, and he said he wanted to fight, too.
This is old-school UFC. A card is in jeopardy, but guys that are world champions and superstars stepped up and jumped in and saved the card. This is why the fans love this sport and why we went on a 12-year run without canceling an event.”
So what do you guys think of the new UFC 153 main event? Awesome, or totally stupid but still kind of awesome?