Monday, October 15, 2012

The Rocktagon Recap of UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar

Featuring a stomach-churning beatdown on Fabio (but not THAT Fabio), an inconceivably EXCITING Jon Fitch bout and Anderson Silva destroying an American Psycho while acting like a Brazilian A-Hole!



Remember how last month, I said the Jon Jones / Vitor Belfort main event at UFC 152 was one of the most absurdly one-sided bouts ever booked by the Zuffa brass? Well, despite the one or two minutes in the first round where Belfort’s jiu-jitsu made things mildly interesting, I stand by my declaration that such a fight constitutes criminal negligence on the part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. And if things go as planned tonight in Brazil, it looks like the UFC may be on the verge of  garnering their first ever wrongful death suit.

Now, I like this Stephan Bonnar kid. He seems likable, and down-to-earth, and the fact that he fights like a chimpanzee having a seizure always makes me interested in seeing his bouts. He was the yin to Forrest Griffin’s yang in a fight that many people consider to be the turning point of the sport, at least as a U.S. cable phenomenon, and to his credit, he’s never been knocked out or submitted. The problem here is, Stephan Bonnar is simply Stephan Bonnar, while his opponent tonight is ANDERSON GODDAMN SILVA.

I think the UFC knows that things could get horror-movie quality real quick here, which is probably why they decided to make the main event a three round affair as opposed to the typical five rounder. In many ways, this non-title bout - booked on short notice as a replacement for the Aldo/Edgar probably-never-going-to-happen-ever Featherweight Championship match-up - is really nothing more than a glorified sparring session, with the UFC 153 commercials pretty much ANCHORED around the fact that Bonnar has no chance in hell of winning tonight’s fight.

There’s no denying that Silva will be phoning it in tonight, but we know how this Bonnar kid likes to work it. He’s going to come out swinging early, and Silva is going to have no choice but to do…something very, VERY horrible to his adversary. Our best case scenario is that Bonnar ends up drooling on the mat about a minute in, while at the absolute worst, we’ll end up watching this poor, poor father-to-be get slung around the cage for fifteen agonizing minutes. And when things are THIS obvious, you can’t help but think: what if, through some magical, mystical, metaphysical means, Bonnar manages to pull off the upset? It’s a prospect so unfathomable, not even the UFC marketing department can think of such a scenario. All I know is, tonight in Rio de Janeiro, we’re going to witness something we’ve never seen in an Octagon before…and odds are, it’s something we’re not going to forget for a LONG time to come, either.

Welcome, one and all, to the Rocktagon Recap of UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar!

We are coming to you LIVE from the River of January in Brazil, where shockingly, the locals DON’T resemble retarded Frankenstein monsters that shoot electricity at you. As always, I’m calling this hootenanny live from the quaint and cozy Bailey's, where working class college girls, frat boys and dwarves commingle in harmony. You know, I did so much jibber-jabbering about tonight’s main event that I sort of glossed over the rest of the main card, which, on paper, looks to be one of the most stacked shows in recent memory.

Welterweight Bout
Demian Maia vs. Rick Story

Maia with a takedown to begin the bout. Story tries to keep things vertical, but Maia manages to wrestle him down. And then, another takedown from Maia. Maia almost has a rear naked choke locked in. Story fighting it. Maia now has a neck crank, and Story is spitting blood all over the cage. The ref waves it off, and Demian Maia is officially 2-0 in the UFC’s welterweight division.

Light Heavyweight Bout
Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado 

A rematch here, since the first fight ended with Prado having his cornea poked out by “Mr. Wonderful.” A dude tries to snatch off Prado’s hat, but he manages to yank it back, which has to be a first in UFC history. Davis with the first takedown of the fight. Davis going for a choke, but Prado is holding on to the cage for dear life. Davis with a MASSIVE slam. Prado getting his face rocked on the ground, and Davis is trying to work the back. Prado looking for an armbar, but it ain’t happening. Davis with another takedown. Gotta’ be Davis’s round.

Davis with a low takedown to begin the second. Prado absorbing some nasty body shots. Davis has Prado covered like a plate of Waffle House hash browns. Davis looking for an arm triangle. Prado slips out. Davis looking for an anaconda choke, and he’s got it. An impressive performance by “Mr. Wonderful,” no doubt about it.

Welterweight Bout
Erick Silva vs. Jon Fitch 

Fitch is the undisputed king of the 15 minute lay-and-pray, while Silva’s average fight time is somewhere between 10 to 15 seconds. Clearly, there is going to be a clash of fighting styles on display here.

Silva may very well have the nicest head of hair of any non-Asian fighter in the UFC, by the way. Fitch with a takedown, and he’s working Silva’s back. Fitch with a waist lock, and he’s dangerously close to locking in a guillotine. Fitch just teeing off on Silva, but thankfully for Erick, striking ain’t exactly his opponent’s strong suit. Fitch looking for a standing triangle, but Silva breaks free. Fitch with another takedown. So far, Fitch has completely neutralized Silva’s striking. 10-9 for Fitch, in usual Fitch fashion.

Fitch and Silva trade blows, and Silva drops Fitch with a knee to the abdomen. Silva looking for a crucifix mount, then transitions to Fitch’s back. We’re standing again. Fitch trying to get a double leg takedown against the cage. Silva doing a good job of defending. Silva has Fitch’s back, and the choke is in DEEP. AND FITCH ESCAPES. Silva trying to lock in a body triangle and now Fitch has Silva’s back. Fitch with an armbar, but Silva manages to hold on until the end of the round. And unbelievably, this thing is looking like a fight of the year contender. A dead even contest heading into the third round.

Fitch feeding Silva some big shots to begin the third, and he’s looking for his opponent’s back. And Silva with a guillotine. Fitch fighting it, but it is deep. And Fitch is out. Fitch with his opponent’s back again. Jon looking for a choke. Two minutes to go and Fitch is just  pounding on Silva at this point. Silva’s just barely hanging on with a minute left. Definitely Fitch’s round here, which should be enough to earn him the W.

Unanimous decision victory for Fitch. Huh…never heard that one before.

Light Heavyweight Bout
Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonado 

Texiera, in case you haven’t noticed, is being hyped to the moon and back by MMA nerds the world over as the NEXT big thing in the Light Heavyweight division, with some folks already calling him the Great Brazilian Hope against Jon Jones. Maldonado, on the other hand is, uh…who the hell is Maldonado, anyway?

Glover drops Fabio early, and now he’s raining fist burgers from the full mount. Glover just clubbing Fabio with elbows now. Short range punches in bunches get thrown in the mix, too. Glover with an arm triangle, and Fabio is just, uh, waiting to die, I guess. Fabio survives, somehow. Glover continues the face mauling from the top. The fact that Fabio isn’t a massive blood stain now is just staggering. Fabio’s face looks like a butcher’s cutting board at this point, and he’s basically ambling around the cage punch drunk now. Fabio, despite experiencing a miniature seizure, manages to survive the round, proving once and for all that God is  crueler beyond or wildest imaginations. 10-9, Glover’s round. 10-8, potentially.

Glover ain’t messing around, as he tackles Fabio as soon as the second round begins. Glover has Fabio’s back. Things get vertical again. For a dude who’s amygdale was turned into gelatin five minutes ago, Fabio isn’t doing all that bad, surprisingly. Glover on top, and the beating continues. A minute to go in the second, and the doctor is checking out a nasty cut on Fabio’s face. Glover totally dominating, but you have to give this Fabio fellow some credit; the beating he’s taken tonight would’ve killed most standing armies, let alone a single individual.

The doctor steps in before the third round begins and says “nah, that’s cool, I really don’t want anybody dying in here tonight” and just awards the fight to Teixeira.

Commercial for the next “Assassin’s Creed” game, where you can Brazilian jiu-jitsu redcoats during the Revolutionary War. Why didn't my eighth grade civics teacher tell me about THAT, precisely?

Heavyweight Bout
Antonio Rodrigo Nogiuera vs. Dave Herman

Nog comes out to some Puff Daddy, while looking as he always does: like the end-result of a monkey hopping into the telepod thing from “The Fly” while holding an alligator skin purse.

Herman begins the fight with a takedown. Nog is up and he bullies Herman up against the cage. He’s starting to throw some wild punches now. Herman throwing some kicks, but nothing is sticking. Nog pushing the tempo with his punches, as the Brazilian locals hoot and holler like crazy. 10-9 round for Big Nog.

Nog begins the round by dropping Herman right off the bat. Nog gets in side control and looks for an armbar. Herman escapes, but Nog ends up back in the full mount. Herman with a takedown, but since he’s scared of Nog’s jiu-jitsu, he lets his adversary up. Herman with another takedown, and now he’s in side control. Nog trying to lock in an armbar. And he’s got it, and Herman has no choice but to tap. The crowd goes bananas, as expected.

Light Heavyweight Bout
Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar

Bonnar out first to "Eminence Front" by The Who, while Silva strolls out to that one DMX song from "Exit Wounds." Silva trips - ironically, in a very Chael Sonnen-ish manner - early in the first, but Bonnar can't do anything. Stephan tries to take his opponent down, but it ain't happening. Bonnar has Silva pressed against the cage, but he's not connecting with anything he throws. Silva starts shunting Bonnar in the face with those shoulder pops that he debuted against Chael Sonnen at the pre-fight presser for UFC 148, which gives this thing a very nice sense of continuity. Bonnar already looking exhausted, as Silva just ducks and weaves out of everything he throws. Silva presses himself against the back of the cage, and just LETS Bonnar hit him in the face a few times, just to let him know that he ain't doing shit to him. We get a clinch and one knee to the chest is all it takes to drop the former Ultimate Fighter runner-up. After the bout, Silva says he'll "never" fight at 205 ever again, and does some celebrating with Big Nog in the middle of the Octagon.

So, Where Do We Go From Here? After Silva's mauling of Banner, pretty much everyone on the planet will be calling for a mega-super-duper-hyper-mecha bout of the all-time against Jon Jones, but since both of those dudes are fighting under the Nike banner, the prospect is about as likely as Louie Anderson winning next year's "Sexiest Man Alive" competition. At this point, it seems like Silva's next adversary will be either Georges St-Pierre or the winner of the upcoming Tim Boetsch/Chris Weidman fight. It's hard to gauge just how many more miles Big Nog has on him, but I think he did enough tonight to at least put him into top 10 consideration within the UFC's heavyweight division again. Why not link Big Nog up with Travis Browne for his next match-up? Glover Teixeira looked dominant as all tonight, and he NEEDS to go toe-to-toe with a top 10, marquee name. Since Teixeira's original opponent for the evening was scheduled to be Quinton Jackson, why not go ahead and make the bout official once more? And lastly, both Jon Fitch and Demian Maia looked super-impressive in their victories tonight...so how about putting them in a 170-showcase for an event later in 2013? 

Highlight of the Night: I'd cast my ballot for the Silva/Fitch bout, but there were a ton of awesome finishes to choose from tonight, as well.

Lowlight of the Night: Nothing this evening was really all that bad, off the top of my head. Maybe the decision to NOT let Fabio get eviscerated in the third round, perhaps?

Roganism of the Night: "Jesus!" - uttered while Jon Fitch beat the living crap out of Erick Silva from the side mount.

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM TONIGHT'S SHOW:
  • You can legitimately knock someone silly with shoulder bumps. 
  • If you ever make the accusation that Brazilian jiu-jitsu "doesn't' work," it's a 100 percent guarantee that you will be submitted in the most comically ironic fashion imaginable. 
  • Apparently, being mildly brain damaged from elbow shots makes you a MORE accurate striker. 
  • Contrary to popular belief, having a weatherman-quality haircut will NOT give you better submission defense. 
  • You know, you can still choke a bitch sometimes, if you really make an effort to. 
Well, that's all I've got for you this week. Crank up "Al Siguiente Nivel" by Javiera Mena and "Give Me This" by Camploud, and I'll be seeing you in a few. 

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