By George Shunick
If there’s a word that sums up UFC 153, it’s got to be “wow”. Anderson Silva gave another performance indicating that we do indeed live in the Matrix. Jon Fitch was in the most exciting fight of the night, and one of the best of the year. Big Nog submitted a man impervious to jiu-jitsu. Demian Maia choked/neck-cranked a man so hard he had a mini-hemorrhage and blood spurted out of his nose. And perhaps most impressive of all, Wagner Prado actually stopped a hat thief.
The bottom line is UFC 153 was an amazing card that delivered from top to bottom. Could it have been better if it had Frankie Edgar square off against Jose Aldo? Probably. But I’ll take another transcendental show from Anderson Silva any day of the week. And that’s exactly what his fight with Stephan Bonnar was. After a slip, Bonnar pressed Silva into the cage, presumably looking to wear the smaller fighter down. Silva wasn’t having any of it, offering a few knees, shoulder shrugs and nothing else. Bonnar backed away and then things got weird. Silva remained on the fence, hands down, encouraging Bonnar to hit him.
Now, I know Stephan Bonnar isn’t the world’s greatest striker. He’s never shown serious knockout power, and his technique has never been the best. But he’s still a 230 pound man who’s spent the majority of his adult life learning how to hurt people. He’s a professional fighter. And for about 4 minutes and 40 seconds last night, those facts didn’t amount to jack shit. Silva dodged, deflected or simply absorbed Bonnar’s offense for about two minutes, demonstrating what a black belt in Tae Kwon Do is worth against a man who seems to know what you’re going to do before you do. Then, Silva decided to end the fight. He tripped Bonnar, established some separation, and then connected with a debilitating, pin-point knee to the solar plexus. Bonnar – who had never been stopped with strikes before – collapsed and waited for the end to come. Mercifully, it did.