Stepping in on four weeks’ notice to save Saturday’s injury-ravaged UFC 153 event at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Anderson Silva moved up to the light heavyweight division because he said he owed Brazil a fight. He also gave them a knockout, stopping Stephan Bonnar in the first round after another performance worthy of a fighter considered to be not just the best in the world, but possibly the best of all-time. It’s an assessment “The Spider” doesn’t necessarily agree with.
“I’m not the best,” said Silva, the longtime middleweight champion who is also 3-0 at 205 pounds. “I just believe that I can do things that people think are impossible.”
Bonnar raced out of his corner at the bell, and while he didn’t land with his first flurry, a slip by Silva allowed him to get the middleweight champ to the fence and keep him there for a bit. Silva refused to give up the takedown, and despite eating some short strikes, Silva soon turned the tables, pushing Bonnar to the fence and then breaking loose. Silva then stepped backward to the fence, daring Bonnar to attack, and the former TUF finalist did, missing with a spinning back kick and a punch upstairs. Silva then let Bonnar attack, but his speed and defense was too much for the Indiana native, and after tripping Bonnar to the mat, “The Spider” swarmed, dropping his foe with a flush knee to the stomach. Bonnar immediately covered up, but the follow-up barrage was too much for him to recover from, and referee Marc Goddard halted the bout at 4:40 of the opening round.
With the win, the 37-year-old Silva improves to 33-4; the 35-year-old Bonnar, who was stopped by something other than cuts for the first time in his career, falls to 17-8.
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Upset of the Century? Silva Says No - UFC 153 Main Event Results
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