The winners circle: What a win means for the UFC 153 headliners

UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar goes down this Saturday night from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event is headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar, however the main card is filled with a number of interesting match ups that are relevant in their respective divisions.

With the top two bouts of Silva vs. Bonnar and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dave Herman garnering a lot of attention, we break down what a win on Oct. 13 means for the four men carrying the UFC 153 fight card.

Anderson Silva
Since Anderson Silva is fully expected to run through Stephan Bonnar with relative ease, a win at UFC 153 doesn’t really mean much for “The Spider”. Sure, Silva will continue to pad his absurd undefeated streak in the UFC and further cement himself as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but a win for Silva doesn’t tell us anything we already don’t know.

More so than simply adding another victory to his win column, Silva having his hand raised at UFC 153 means he has cleared perhaps the final hurdle on his end in making a superfight with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. The reigning middleweight champion has made it public that after UFC 153 he is interested in meeting GSP in a catchweight superfight.

Unless there is a shocking upset on Saturday, Silva will pick up the victory over Bonnar, earn a very nice payday, push his UFC record to 16-0 and further prove why he is the number one fighter in the world today.

Stephan Bonnar
While Anderson Silva looks to rewrite the record books once again, Stephan Bonnar has the opportunity of a lifetime to take out the Brazilian in his home country and shock the world. Bonnar is being seen as a sacrificial lamb to Silva and while that may be the case, if “The American Psycho” were to pull off the upset it would be perhaps the most remarkable story in mixed martial arts history.

Before being called to fight Silva on less than for week’s notice, Bonnar was on the verge of retirement. The 35-year-old said he wanted a big fight or no fight at all – he got a bigger fight than he ever could have imagined. While the chances of Bonnar defeating Silva are miniscule, the stock of “The Ultimate Fighter” season one finalist would skyrocket with a win.

Bonnar would have unlimited options if he were to be the first man in the UFC to defeat Silva. He could campaign for a rematch with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, possibly fight longtime rival Forrest Griffin for a third fight or in what would likely be the wisest decision, retire from the sport for good. Nothing could ever top becoming the first man to defeat Silva in the UFC and if Bonnar pulls it off he should hang up the gloves on the highest of highs.

Regardless of what choice he makes, Bonnar beating Silva would mark one of the greatest career turnarounds in the history of MMA.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Former PRIDE and interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is still a dangerous fighter to share the cage with, but there is no doubt the career of “Minotauro” is quickly winding down.
After having his arm broken by Frank Mir at UFC 140 last December, Nogueira returns to action for the first time. The Brazilian faces Dave Herman in a very risky fight for this stage of his career. Herman has lost two fights in a row and is a relative unknown to most casual UFC fans, a Nogueira loss would mark the second defeat in three fights for “Big Nog” and questions would immediately raise regarding how much time he has left in the sport.

On the flip side, a win for Nogueira would place him back among the top-10 fighters in the division. The chances of the 36-year-old returning to the championship level he competed at in PRIDE are slim, but Nogueira is still skilled enough to face some of the best the division has to offer.

A win for Nogueira on Saturday means, first of all, he can finally move on from the Mir fight and put the memories of having his arm broken behind him. Second of all it puts him in a position to work his way up the rankings by facing the Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin and Stefan Struve’s of the world.

Dave Herman
The man they call “Pee-Wee” is in a pretty good spot heading in to the biggest fight of his career at UFC 153. Fighting in his opponent’s home country, no one is expecting much from Dave Herman in the co-main event after taking the fight with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on short notice. Herman has lost back-to-back fights and oddly enough, the 28-year-old’s been matched up with an opponent with a bigger name after each loss.

The opportunity to face a legend of the sport such as Nogueira isn’t something that happens to many fighters. Herman has been granted the rare chance to fight a future Hall-of-Famer and needs to take advantage. Adding Nogueira’s name to his resume would do wonders for Herman’s career.

Should Herman lose, it would be his third in a row and he would be in danger of being released from the organization. However, if he wins, Herman would hold a win over a former world champion and maintain job security for quite some time.


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