One of the most epic fights in UFC history was the TUF 1 Finale between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar. Griffin was the winner of the bout, but the UFC felt the fight was so good that they gave Bonnar a UFC contract as well.
Bonnar (14-7) has gone 8-6 in his UFC career and is currently riding a three fight winning streak. His most recent fight was a unanimous decision win against Kyle Kingsbury way back in November of 2011. Prior to that he hadn’t fought since 2010, where he defeated Igor Pokrajac also by unanimous decision.
Following his fight with Kingsbury, Bonnar made mention that he was only looking for big fights inside the octagon.
The big boss must have heard him, because his wish became a reality, as the main event at UFC 153 fell through and he was placed in to face-off against Anderson Silva in Brazil. During today’s UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar conference call, the light heavyweight had this to say.
“It really came by surprise honestly. I campaigned for some big fights but I couldn’t get them. In my head, I was trying to get over this whole fighting thing.”
Before the fight with Silva came about, Bonnar was campaigning for a spot as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter against Forrest Griffin.
“It looked like I wasn’t getting any of the things I asked for and I was having a problem not doing this. I’ve never been hungry for the title. I was just honest. I guess I could have lied to him and got that job coaching TUF against Forrest and his viewpoint is “what’s the point of a guy hanging around the divison, you should just hang it up” but I kind of like hanging around the division. Now I’m fighting the greatest pound for pound guy who’s been a champion for a long time. Is it not a big deal because a belt isn’t on the line? Hell no. It’ll be the greatest moment of my life if I win.”
This will be Silva’s third fight in the light heavyweight division. His last two performances were very spectacular finishes. In his first go-round at 205lbs in the octagon, he knocked out James Irvin just one minute into the very first round. His second fight was against former light heavyweight champ and TUF 1 winner, Forrest Griffin. He played with him like a Matrix style movie and eventually KO’d him late in the first round.
If Bonnar happens to pull off the big upset, then that puts him on top of the food chain in the light heavyweight division. He will then be on a four fight winning streak and have beaten the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. He knows this, but he also knows what a loss will do.
“A win over Anderson would set me up for big opportunities but if I get destroyed, I guess not.”
For the casual fan, this fight seems like an odd choice. However, to some of the hardcores like myself, I am very excited to see how Bonnar fares against Silva.