| By Big Jeff Pearce |
As the week comes to a close and we draw closer to UFC 153, one question is dominating most UFC fan’s thoughts: When are we going to see a fight card that isn’t plagued with injuries? As of right now, the UFC is instituting new rules in their contracts stopping athletes from engaging in “high-risk” activities – such as riding a motorcycle. Is this a good thing? For fans, yes. Frankly, I think I stopped paying attention to fight cards until about 2 weeks out from the actual show because they’re always changing due to injury (or legal issues eg. Jeremy Stephens). Perhaps some of the fighters need to take a page from Mac Danzig’s book and start training smart. This fight card was decimated by injuries/pull-outs by Quentin ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Jose Aldo and Geronimo dos Santos. This problem was exacerbated by fighters like Rashad Evans refusing to fight Glover Teixiera. With all that as a caveat, you have to take your hat off to the UFC brass for putting together one helleuva great fight card in the midst of adversity. Anyway, let’s get into the fight card expected for this weekend.
Silva v. Bonnar
Headlining Saturday’s fight card is Anderson Silva v. Stephan Bonnar. Anderson will be making the move up to light heavyweight; not really a stretch considering Anderson has been reported to walk around at about 220-225. Bonnar, most commonly known for his legendary fight with Forrest Griffin, is coming off of a 3 fight win streak. He stands at 17-7-0 and Anderson… Well, he’s 30-4-0 with 16 straight wins, 15 of which are in the UFC. He is undefeated in the UFC. The odds are crazy, so if you are looking for a long shot bet with a ridiculous payout, this is your fight. All that being said, Bonnar does have a punchers chance and if we learned anything from the first round of Jones v. Belfort; anything can happen in the Octagon. I don’t think many of us thought Jones was going to make it out of that arm bar.
Nogueira v. Herman
In a heavyweight bout that won’t be having much of an impact on the standings, Nogueira will be taking on Dave Herman, not to be confused with Ed “I’m way smaller than Dave” Herman. The big question going into this fight is not what Nogueira is bringing to the table; we know what he’s got. The question is which Dave Herman will be showing up and what the deal is going to be with his cardio. Either way, I have a feeling that Nogueira will take this down within the distance.
Teixiera v. Moldonado
The man that no one wants to fight is staring down a pair of UFC gloves at someone that does want to fight him, Fabio Moldonado. Glover has a lot of hype coming into this fight but this is one of those fights that could easily derail the 16 win streak Glover-Train. Moldonado has lost to Kyle Kingsbury, Glover’s only win in the UFC. On paper, Moldonado’s Fight of the Night loss, an 11 win streak snapping loss, to Kyle Kingsbury is what would make most take Glover over him and rightfully so. Especially since Glover dispatched Kingsbury so easily. The thing is, there have been rumours that Kingsbury was not at full health going into that fight. That being said, it’s unlikely this fight will go the distance.
Fitch v. Silva
The UFC, never in a deficit for fighters with the last name Silva, will be welcoming back Jon Fitch after almost a full year layoff with this fight against Erick Silva. Silva has quite a bit of hype going into this fight, however he is 2-1 in his only 3 UFC fights. His loss is attributed to a DQ against Carlo Prater. While Silva has definite skills, the question is if he will be able to neutralize Fitch’s unbelievable wrestling skills. We know that Fitch likes to bang, but utilizing his wrestling to muster out a win may keep him on the UFC payroll just a little longer.
Phil Davis v. Wagner Prado
Wagner looks like an Orc and Davis poked him in the eye. Not a smart move. This is a rematch from a fight that was supposed to happen at UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera on August 4th, 2012. The deciding factor of this fight is going to be whether or not Davis decides to utilize his takedowns and wrestling. Once this fight goes to the ground, it doesn’t seem like Prado will be able to do a whole lot.
Demian Maia v. Rick Story
Demian Maia is one of those BJJ guys that is just unbelievably good but wants to prove that he can strike too. As we’ve seen in some of his recent performances, he has made improvements but it is still a weakness for him. On the other side of the Octagon stands Rick Story and at one point was showing incredible potential. However, when he faced fighters that really push forward like Martin Kampmann and Charlie Brenneman, he seemed to have a hard time. Maia will push forward and if he needs to he can take this fight to the ground and dominate.
This is a really strong fight card that materialized out of injury and fighters turning down fights. The fact that the UFC could put together a card like this surprises me; the fact that they can sell Silva v. Bonnar surprises me. I know I’m not the only one that watched the pre-fight Bonnar videos that went from thinking the fight would suck to thinking that Bonnar is the next Rocky Balboa. Well, not really, but kind of.
Jeff Pearce, Editor-In-Chief
Big Jeffrey Pearce, is a physical culture writer, editor, personal trainer, and a lifetime natural bodybuilder from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been bodybuilding and strength training since he was 16 years old and remains a dedicated gym rat to this day. Big Jeff is one of the strongest athletes you will ever meet, routinely bench pressing 500lbs and tossing up 150lb dumbbells for reps in a typical workout. An honors graduate from the University of Toronto, Jeff’s brains also match his brawn. Jeff has a passion for writing and has been in featured in Muscular Development. Jeff also coaches high school kids on the benefits of strength training and nutrition.