Posts Tagged ‘stephan bonnar’

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“May see thee now, though late, Redeem thy name, And glorify what else is damn’d to fame” Richard Savage

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Edited By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix

Perspective can bring clarity. Unfortunately there is no time line for understanding. For some it comes early, for others it may never come at all. For Joe ‘Daddy’ Stevenson, perspective has been quite elusive. As a young fighter Stevenson made his pro debut in 1999 at the tender age of 16, now nearly 50 fights later, that perspective has arrived.

Long after his last fight, Stevenson found himself on the mat at his gym, working with his younger fighters. He told them he wanted them all to define their goals as fighters clearly. He wanted to know what each of his fighters expected of themselves, so he, the coach, could do his best to make those expectations come true. Everything was going according to plan until one of Stevenson’s young proteges, Jamal Pogues, asked, “What about you coach?”

The seemingly innocent question may have been considered a wise-ass response, but instead the question stabbed its way through 17 years of fighting and attacked a soft spot inside of Stevenson that he himself had never addressed! “I thought about his question for quite some time.” Stevenson said, with the answer eluding him at every turn.

As a coach, Stevenson has many young students who count on his experience and knowledge to light the dark passage that is a fight career. During the ‘goal definition’ process, Stevenson realized he himself had never completed the exercise. “I’ve had a lot of great coaches, but I’ve never had someone in my ear outside of the cage” Stevenson said. Although he had many coaches that focused on technique, Stevenson didn’t have a coach to lean on¬†during the difficult times away from the cage.

As young wrestler, Stevenson’s stock skyrocketed with his success. At 16 years old he was already training with the likes of Oleg Taktarov, Bas Rutten, Ted Williams, and Genki Sudo. All of whom, were successful mixed martial artists at the time. For Stevenson, this opportunity was all he had. “Wrestling was the only thing I was ever good at!” Stevenson said. After working with these legends, fighting seemed to be the next logical step. His pro debut came against Joe Camacho (rest in peace) one month before his 17th birthday.

His career was off to a terrific start, and after a successful stint with the King of The Cage, Stevenson moved to Las Vegas to pursue his black belt in jiujitsu. During this time, Stevenson pretty much retired from fighting. Instead he focused on coaching, training and helping others prepare for fights. Things stayed the same until UFC matchmaker Joe Silva came into the gym to watch Stevenson train. After watching, Silva insisted that Stevenson join season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter. Just one year earlier this show launched the sport of mixed martial arts into the main stream. With the epic bout between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar fresh on his mind, Stevenson leapt.

Opportunity once again knocked, and Stevenson was ready to answer, but still he was going through the motions. Once he was isolated inside the TUF house, the demons that haunt so many came knocking. “I was very self conscious about my drinking, thats why if you re-watch the show I always had a red cup!” Stevenson said. “I didn’t want my kids or any kids to see me drinking!” So, he tried to keep the demons hidden, away from view.

Still, Stevenson thrived professionally, winning season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter. Inside the cage, Stevenson was becoming one of the most feared men in the lightweight division. However outside of the cage, and away from the lights, Stevenson’s life was beginning to unravel. Now the centerpiece in the crowd, Stevenson never felt more isolated.

Celebrity can bring with it a loneliness. For Stevenson, he looked for the answer in the bottom of a bottle, or three. “I was a undefeated as a drinker!” Stevenson said. Depending on how you look at the situation, one could certainly agree or disagree depending on what you consider defeated. “The day after the Ultimate Fighter Finale, the day after the biggest night of my life, I was given my first DUI.” Stevenson said. Apparently the alcohol from the celebration had not found its way out his body, and on his way back home, the TUF season 2 winner found himself in hand cuffs.

As a fighter, Stevenson could always rely on his god given talent. So the dance with demons continued between fights, and even sometimes during the fights. At the age 20 Stevenson’s marriage fell apart. And Stevenson responded by healing the only way he knew how, in the gym by day and the bar by night.

Still, inside the UFC cage the wins kept coming! After a self imposed hiatus from drinking, Stevenson went on a tear, winning four fights in a row, earning him a shot at the vacant lightweight title against the future legend B.J. Penn. A fight that still evokes a very deep emotion from Stevenson. “B.J. and I were actually friends.” Stevenson said. “I can remember hanging out with him in a bar one night, and he came over and said ‘You now one day we are gonna fight bro, good knows good!'”, and although that meeting ended in celebration, their next meeting was not so easy.

Penn won their fight decisively in what would be remembered as one of the bloodiest fights in UFC history. “I remember seeing my blood shoot out of my head in a stream that was about five feet long”, Stevenson said. According to a ringside doctor the gash on his head caused him to lose over 500 ccs of blood. You would think a loss like that would be devastating, and to some extent it was, but¬†after all, Stevenson had never planned on even getting there. Up until this point, one of the best fighters in the world still didn’t have a single defined goal. Instead the loss was handled much the way the wins were, with a few pills chased by alcohol.

After that fight, Stevenson returned with an impressive win over Gleison Tibau, but then alternated 2 wins with 2 losses. One of the wins was an impressive domination of current lightweight contender Nate Diaz. Up until this point, Stevenson was always able to maintain two lifestyles. at first he was a fighter who liked to party, but soon he became a partier who moonlit as a fighter. Soon the perennial fight of the night contender now found himself in rather boring fights. An uninspiring decision loss to George Sotiropoulos was followed by 3 more losses, including a KO loss to Mac Danzig, which was the only time Stevenson had ever been knocked out in his career. After his loss to Javier Vasquez, Stevenson was released from the UFC.

Although devastating, the loss was quickly washed away, and soon the mediocrity of everyday life became the daily reminder to what he had pissed away. Stevenson began to realize he had not only lost his job, but he was beginning to loose himself as well. Nearing bottom Stevenson began to look for answers. He found some of those answers in familiar faces that were now anonymous. It was in these meetings that, Stevenson began to discover himself. He found both comfort and solace listening and sharing. He reveled in being an example.

In the gym, Stevenson was quickly becoming known as one of the best young coaches in the sport. His pedigree and wrestling base made him a fountain of knowledge that even the most seasoned of fighters could drink. Rapidly his young stable of fighters began to start making names for themselves. And Stevenson himself was also starting to evolve professionally.

After working on the show ‘Breaking Bad’, Stevenson began his love affair with Hollywood. Soon after¬†he received a phone call from coach Greg Jackson that would change his direction. Jackson had been contacted by the powers that be in Hollywood, who were looking for a fight choreographer for a new show that showcased the world of mixed martial arts.

The show created by Byron Belasco starred Frank Grillo, Nick Jonas, Jonathan Tucker, Matt Lauria, Mac Brandt, Paul Hauser, Natalie Martinez and Nikki Going as a dysfunctional fight family native to the Venice Beach area. One of the main problems with shooting a show about MMA, is making it look real. In the past, the sport has not been kind to the translations of MMA incarnations on film, which weighed heavy on Belasco. So they brought in Stevenson to sculpt the cast into fighters, and to add certain level of authenticity that would resonate heavily with mixed martial arts fanatics.

Taking his time, and working from the bottom. Stevenson began to shape these actors. “I only know how to train fighters,” Stevenson said. ” I don’t know how to pretend to fight”. So these actors pretty much went to bootcamp. Their bodies changed, their diets changed, and even their outlook on the sport changed. The show ‘Kingdom’ debuted to raucous reviews, and quickly became a hit. Not only were television audiences impressed, but the MMA community specifically was considerably thrilled. A testament to the actors, and the choreography of Stevenson.

Busy on many fronts, Stevenson found himself torn between coaching and working in Hollywood, living somewhere in the nexus between an old itch returned. Constantly being involved a long forgotten flame began to burn again, and soon ‘The Daddy’ was ready again, to take to cage. Returning to the action for the first time in 3 years, Stevenson took on very tough prospect Dominique Robinson. The fight ended up not going Stevenson’s way (he lost a 5 rd split decision) but his performance was hindered by poor preparation and by an infection that had him on antibiotics the day of the fight. He simply forgotten how much preparation was necessary, and Robinson was more than willing to remind him. Even still the fight could have gone either way.

The loss bothered Stevenson, but his performance is what left a particular bad taste. “I didn’t prepare for the fight properly.” Stevenson said. “Even though mentally I was in the right place, physically I didn’t take enough time to prepare. When you are out of action for 3 years you can’t just jump into a camp and get ready, and I thought I could.” Stevenson said.

For the next few months, Stevenson went back to the usual grind. Alternating between cornering fighters, coaching, and working on set, while maintaining his role as the father of four young boys. However this time he kept his weight down, returned to training, and for the first time in his life Joe Stevenson was doing everything the right way, but he didn’t know where he was heading.

Then came the answer in the form of a question. “What about you coach? What are your goals?”

“I went home after Jamal asked me about my goals, and thought about it.” Stevenson had often looked for answers, and often found them from within, but this time he was at a loss. Was his purpose now to coach, or was his goal now to grow as a coordinator in film industry?¬†The answer once again came back to fighting.

“50 wins” Stevenson said. “My goal is to win 50 fights, then I can move on.” Currently Stevenson would need another 17¬†victories¬†to accomplish that task (Some websites differ with regard to record). At 34 years old he is still young enough to compete at a very high level, and his pedigree will always translate to the sport. But why would he want too?

The goal although defined, remains obscured by certain mitigating factors. Truth, fear, the past, and even the demons themselves are all part of the motivation. For a fighter of Stevenson’s caliber his last performances can’t be easy to live with, especially since now he thinks he could today, out perform his younger self. ” I’d instigate the 25 year old version of me into a brawl, before I double legged him and pounded him out!” Stevenson confidently claimed. Perhaps that is who he will be facing the rest of the way.

For Stevenson, the goal may have been defined. The 50 win plateau may hopefully end up being the destination. The end may justify his goals, and what Stevenson finds on the road to redemption remains to be seen. However it appears in coming full circle as a person, Joe Stevenson has finally arrived as a fighter.

 

Notes: Joe Stevenson returns to action July 30 in his hometown of Victorville CA, fighting under the California Fight League promotion. Click the link for ticket information. Joe Stevenson is also set to fight in August under the Tru-Form Entertainment Promotion, it what could be one of the best SoCal fight cards of the year! For information on where to watch the hit television show Kingdom (click the link).

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Bellator 131-33

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Weight can be a finicky burden. Sometimes you don’t realize how heavy something is until you let it go. For the better part of 15 years Tito Ortiz carried a good portion of the load. Weather his former employers are willing to admit that or not, weather his detractors¬†are willing to admit that or not, it is undeniable he was one if not the, torch bearer for a long time.

However that weight started to take its toll. Years of fighting injured, and ‘answering the call’ to duty had left the former Champion adrift in the rankings, injured and without any real love from the house he helped build. So he left. And it appeared the sun was setting on a former UFC Champion and UFC Hall of Famer. However, Tito Ortiz just didn’t feel ready to call it a career¬†yet. And once again, the sun began to peek above the horizon.

So, he signed with Bellator MMA and after an initial fight with Rampage Jackson fizzled out due to an Ortiz neck injury, it seemed Tito would ride out the rest of his days in quasi relevancy appearing from time-to-time. However then they announced his first fight.

Ortiz debuted against former 185 lbs champion Alexander Shlemenko (51-9 MMA) and quickly dispatched him with a head and arm choke. Although the much larger man, Ortiz looked the part putting the smaller striker to sleep before digging his grave in the center of the cage, in classic Ortiz fashion.

Then he went on to¬†systematically beat the tar out of an aging Stephan Bonnar (15-9 MMA). Again although Ortiz’s opponent didn’t look up too snuff, Ortiz certainly did. His wrestling looked as explosive as ever, and his gas tank never emptied. That win, although not against a top contender, led him to this title shot against current champion Liam McGeary (10-0 MMA).¬†In McGeary, Ortiz not only faces the Champion but his toughest test since switching companies.

The champion McGeary on paper presents a ton of challenges, mainly his freakish reach. Ortiz not know for his boxing will somehow have to find a way inside in order to impose his will. If he ends up going backwards, or flailing for a takedown it could be long night, (or a short one) for Ortiz. However if Ortiz can bring the fight into his own neighborhood he certainly has the power and ability to end the fight himself. the one outcome that is assured is greatness! Greatness is bound to happen, either McGeary becomes bonafide, or Ortiz shocks the world, how can you not watch?

Win or loose Ortiz has already said his fighting career will continue, and from the way he has looked in the cage and in training who can argue? His performance against McGeary may steer some opinions one way or the other, but one thing seems certain, the sun may have set on the Huntington Beach Bad Boy, but its only rising for the ‘Peoples Champion’.

dynamite

Tito Ortiz took a second to talk with Aaron Tru from The Brutally Honest Radio Show about his upcoming fight, his journey for another world title, and about cementing his name in history. Plus his lovely girlfriend Amber Nicole also has a few things to say about how the ‘People’s Champion’ prepares. Check out the video below:

Brutally Honest Radio is hosted by Aaron Tru, Adrian Gallegos, and Jonathan King. The podcast is broadcast live each week from an undisclosed studio in Long Beach California. You can subscribe and download each episode on iTunes. Or you can listen on sound cloud.

Bellator 131-38

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Scott Coker has been around for a while. Very few have a greater understanding of the ins and outs of MMA. So his hiring by Viacom to replace Bjorn Rebney as the head of Bellator MMA  seemed like the best choice. As the last of the tournaments under the old regime wouned down, a lame duck period ensued which showed very little difference. The look and feel had not changed, the faces were the same, and the results reflected the lack of interest.

That lame duck period came to an end with Bellator 131, In fact that period came to a screeching halt! Bonnar vs. Ortiz provided the perfect stage for Scott Coker and Viacom to unveil there re-branded image. The fighters now entered the cage via a long walk way, reminiscent of the old Japanese promotions. Some fighters like King Mo, Joe Vedepo, Tito Ortiz, and Stephan Bonnar came complete with entourages to escort them to the cage. The added pomp may not add to the excitement of the fight, but it certainly does improve the image of a promotion that was in desperate need of one!

The fight card itself may not have had title implications for anyone outside of Michael Chandler and Will Brooks, but it was very well matched as even the preliminary bouts provided a good show. The fights simply made sense. King Mo and Joe Vedepo faced off in the curtain jerker that opened the Spike broadcast. King Mo overwhelmed Vedepo from the opening round in what proved to be a one sided match although an entertaining one.

In perhaps the best fight of the evening, Glory alums Joe Schilling and Melvin Manhoef engaged in a back and forth war that saw both fighters nearly finished before a short right hook from Schilling ended the affair. Half way through the second frame Manhoef appeared to have to edge on the scorecards. In the first round Manhoef had Schilling on his back and in trouble as the ground and pound rained down. However Schilling was able to roll out of trouble, establish his guard, and ride out the round before ending the fight with one punch.

Mike Richman made perhaps the loudest statement of the night when he knocked out Nam Phan in under a minute. He then proceeded to challenge title holder Joe Warren who was cage side providing commentary for the fight. ‘The Marine’ has looked extremely impressive since he dropped down in weight, and with the win¬†he finds himself on a¬†short list of fighters who deserve a shot at the title.

When Michael Chandler and Will Brooks entered the cage to battle for the then interim lightweight title, everyone expected a war. The first round was a back and forth battle for position, similar to their last engagement. Brooks and Chandler battled for 3 rounds with Brooks appearing to get the better of Chandler.

Then in the fourth round Brooks cracked Chandler with a right hand that left the former champion struggling to find his senses. He appeared to ask for a stoppage, at first it appeared as if Chandler was poked in the eye, however replays confirm that he was on queer street and the punch’s effects had him essentially saying ‘No Mas’! The win for Brooks solidifies his claim as the legitimate world champion, while Chandler must find a way to rebound from his third consecutive loss.

Skepticism is fickle. Once the cage door is closed the hype disappears and performances are defined. I like most at first, felt like watching through interlaced fingers, the fear of having to witness a fraud unfold motivating me to vaguely hide my eyes. Fortunately both Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar removed that fear just seconds into their entertaining 3 round fight.

Both guys played to their strengths, as Tito Ortiz¬†looked to ground the superior striking of ¬†Stephan Bonnar. Early on Ortiz¬†stalked the ‘American Psycho’ and blasted through his legs with quick single leg take downs, and later a power double that kept Bonnar grounded for most of the fight. The fight appeared to be a 30-27 clear cut win for Tito Ortiz, however one judge saw the fight 29-28 for Bonnar, awarding Ortiz with the split decision win.

The evening ended up being a return of sorts. After speaking with Scott Coker  it is obvious that Bellator MMA is heading in the right direction. The open minded leader referred to the possibility of tournaments in the future, they make sense as long as you are not beholden to them. The idea is to create an environment where fighters want to fight, to create an experience that the fans feel a part of and not just witness too. Last night an old idea forged in the spirit of martial arts was unveiled to an audience that wants to be a part of something.

The idea to return to the once a month format seems to make sense. The sport is currently over saturated, causing the growth rate of the sport to slow. With Coker on board the Viacom-Bellator MMA conglomerate seems destined to succeed. Hopefully the symphony created as a result  between Coker and Viacom carries a tune we can all dance to for a while. In a world where the UFC is practically rammed down our throats it will be nice to have a viable alternative.

 

131

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

We will be on site, and reporting live from the Valley View Casino Center for tonight’s Bellator 131: Bonnar vs. Ortiz

Please tune in for our fight by fight coverage on live analysis. Photos will be uploaded tomorrow.

Main card (Spike TV at 9 p.m.)
Tito Ortiz vs. Stephan Bonnar
Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks
Mo Lawal vs. Joe Vedepo
Melvin Manhoef vs. Joe Schilling
Nam Phan vs. Mike Richman

Undercard
Kyle Bolt vs. A.J. Matthews
Ron Henderson vs. Jonathan Santa Maria
Jordan Bailey vs. Alex Higley
Nick Garcia vs. Matthew Ramirez
Andy Murad vs. Bubba Pugh
Rolando Perez vs. Mark Vorgeas
Ian Butler vs. Joao Faria

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Hall of Fame Fighter and Mixed Martial Arts Pioneer Royce Gracie

Hall of Fame Fighter and Mixed Martial Arts Pioneer Royce Gracie

One way to make sure people show up for a fan fest is to fill the stage with UFC Hall of Famers. Of the 11 living enshrined fighters, five of them were signing autographs on Tuesday for Bellator MMA. The panel brought together by Scott Coker, was held at Dave and Busters in San Diego.

The event was not without an agenda as the November 15th PPV card headlined by Stephan Bonnar and Tito Ortiz was the obvious backdrop. Bonnar and Ortiz were joined by fellow UFC Hall of Famers Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, and Ken Shamrock.  King Mo Lawal and Michael Chandler were also on hand to sign autographs for fans and to provide sound bites for the press.

The trash talk between Bonnar and Ortiz continued albeit tame in nature.¬†Bonnar referring to Ortiz as a “douche-bag” drew a few smiles, and a particular finger from Ortiz in response. Other than that the event went without incident as Coker intelligently put the onus on the fans.

Unlike the UFC, Bellator is lacking the loyal fan base that can sustain a PPV schedule. Allowing fans access through events like this offers them the emotional attachment to fighters that will lead to that fan base.

With Coker at the helm, Bellator MMA appears to be blazing a new path, one that refuses to be a little brother to anyone, and maybe that is what the sport needs. The landscape is littered with the graves of those who tried to be second. With Coker’s leadership and Viacom’s support this tank will keep rolling along slowly picking up steam.

 

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Videoed and Edited By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

Usually it would begin with some jokes or ‘smack talk’. Then it would escalate quickly. Emotions, embarrassment, and ego all fueled the once benign flicker into an all encompassing inferno, culminating with those words we have all heard! “After school!” For the rest of the day the hype would grow. Exaggerations and magnifications illuminate the stage, and before long¬†the whole school knew.

When Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar squared off for the first time on Spike TV a few weeks ago, the whole school began to talk. Was it real? Was it scripted? Why the hell was Justin McCully wearing a mask? The angle had been used before, however the many unsavory stories about Tito Ortiz’s past made it somewhat believable. And again, why the hell was Justin McCully wearing a mask?

Long before the talk began, stories have swirled about Ortiz’s questionable business practices. After all his beef with Dana White is supposedly the reason Bonnar was released from the UFC.¬†The prospect of Bonnar punishing Ortiz made it easy for White to allow Bonnar’s exit.

For now of course we ask do Ortiz and Bonnar genuinely dislike each other? At least for now they do. Ortiz, normally no stranger to the hype machine has decided to let his opponent do most of the press. His silence only feeding the fire further. Bonnar on the contrary remains quite vocal. Even warning that Tito’s ex Jenna Jameson may be under the mask next time!

Only time will tell if the bad blood is real. How many times have we seen the hype disappear with a touch of the gloves? It remains a very good possibility that this was all concocted in some board room. Either way the clock strikes 3 o’clock on November 15. The hype, of course will build until then. Lucky for us eventually these two will meet on the playground, and if principal Scott Coker has his way, the whole damn school will be watching!

Photo By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

When word broke¬†last, I like most chalked it up to rumors fueled by the Alvarez release. Then for a few days it disappeared. Waking this morning to the news that former TUF 1 Finalist and UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar came out of retirement to sign a multi-fight deal with the UFC’s rival Bellator MMA was not shocking, but it does seem intriguing.

‘The American Psycho” released a statement with regards to the signing, and hinted as to why..

I want everyone to know I’m coming out of retirement because it’s time to free the MMA world of the virus that’s known as Tito Ortiz. We’ve been suffering through his boring fights for too many years, and it’s about time that someone beats it out of him once and for all.” Stephan Bonnar

Earlier this week the UFC signed Bellator MMA’s 155 lbs champion Eddie Alvarez setting him up for his promotional¬†debut against Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. Now with the Bonnar signing; although much less relevant, Bellator has shown they mean business.¬†Even if they are past their primes, Bonnar v Ortiz is a fight that is guaranteed to entertain. Bonnar’s chin down head first style, and Ortiz’s traditional ground and pound make this a chess match on paper that should not be missed.

Does Stephan Bonnar v Tito Ortiz matter in the MMA world? Sure it does. The fight matters as long as it is promoted properly. If its a grudge match pitting two guys who clearly dont like each other, then its a fun fight. If this ends up being a setup for a 205 lbs contender, then its a joke. A joke that may end up costing the promotion credibility.

Is Bonnar the same guy he was when he carried the sport on his shoulders in his first fight with Forrest Griffin? No, but that doesn’t mean he still cant entertain in the cage.

Setting either one of these guys up for a title run, will only solidify the companies position as a UFC pretender. However, if they utilize both of these guys the way the UFC uses fighters like Cung Le and Rich Franklin, it could be a pretty smart move. Bonnar is also a polished broadcaster, so he will probably see double duty when he is not fighting.

The move will certainly illicit some sort of response from his former employer. Dana White has always been a huge supporter of Bonnar, and even went to great lengths to defend his enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. So it will be interesting to hear his response.

Quelled as a rumor when first reported a week or so ago, the signing may be a sign that the two promotions have put to rest the animosity. Under Bjorn Rebney’s control Bellator MMA was consistently the target for well placed jabs by Dana White, who referred to his counterpart “Bjork”. Now with Rebney out, and Scott Coker in, maybe the two promotions have decided to co exist.

If so it would be a decision that could benefit both companies and the sport as a whole. Perhaps a united front from both Viacom and Zuffa would present a hurdle that even Sheldon Silver could not jleap over, paving the way for the sport to be legalized in New York State. If these two giants could unite if only for that purpose…..Oh the humanity that would result!

 

UFC 153 in Rio De Janeiro Brazil

by Jonathan King The Clinch Report

DEMIAN MAIA VS. RICK STORY

Round 1:¬†On paper, this is the classic match-up, ‘Wrestler vs. Grappler’. Demian Maia aggressively looks to take down Rick Story, who uses his wrestling defense to avoid the takedown, but once elevated, Maia throws him to the ground, landing in mount. Story defends, however Maia secures a neck lock, and applies a tremendous¬†amount¬†of pressure. Story taps ending the fight at 2:30 of the first round.¬†Winner by Submission (neck-crank) Demian Maia 2:30 rd 1.

PHIL DAVIS VS. WAGNER PRADO

Round 1: Phil Davis is looking to use his distance and set up his shot, As Wagner Prado stalks. Davis attempts to grab a hold, but Prado shrugs off the attempt. They continue to feel each other out, pawing jabs at one another. Davis in  tight, is able to secure the takedown. Quickly Davis is transitioning to the back.Prado able to return to his feet momentarily before being slammed back to the mat. Davis landing several strikes on the ground. Prado defends with a whizzer, but is again dragged down. More right hands by Davis. Everytime Prado is able to stand, Davis slams him back to the mat. Round one ends with Davis on top. Clearly a decisive first round for Davis.

Round 2: Prado much more cautious of the takedown, as they circle. Davis able to secure a single, off a flying knee attempt and is able to secure yet another takedown. Davis landing decent body shots, as they return to the standing position. Prado lands a nice leg kick. Davis again picking up Prado and slamming him to the canvas. Immediately Davis transitions to side control. Looking to mount, Prado defending somewhat¬†efficiently¬†preventing any mount. Davis looking to secure an arm triangle, Prado escapes and momentarily get back to his feet before being snapped back down by the neck. Davis has the anaconda locked in. Its all over! ¬†Winner by Submission (neck-crank) Phil ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Davis 4:29 rd 2.

JON FITCH VS. ERICK SILVA

Round 1: Silva dancing, Fitch looking more relaxed. Silva almost mocking Fitch as he throws a knee, Ritch grabs hold and takes him down. Do not¬†underestimate¬†Jon Fitch. Fitch looking to secure both hooks, is landing punches from the back. Back to the feet, Fitch is looking secure a standing arm¬†triangle¬† Silva breaks the hold, and escapes. Looking to strike, Silva lands a huge right hand, and pushes Fitch back to the fence. Silva lands a good elbow, as they¬†separate. Silva fighting like a arrogant karate fighter, hands down. Fitch secures a hold, and is able to once again takedown the brash youngster. Back standing Fitch grinding along the cage, is landing decent rights. Fitch transitions to the back, and is able to secure one hook as the round ends. Somebody in Silva’s corner better tell him to knock off the nonsense. It cost him the round!

Round 2: Silva again dropping his hands throws a spinning backfist, that Fitch ducks under and counters with a nasty uppercut. Big shot from Silva, and Fitch is down. Silva secures the back, and reigns down big shots, as Fitch returns to his feet. Once again both fighters trade strikes, with Fitch landing a nice knee to the body. Fitch bullies Silva to the fence, and begins to grind again. Looking to drop down, Fitch eats a Silva elbow. Silva reverses, and takes down Fitch. Securing the back Silva looks to secure the choke. Fitch is in deep trouble as the choke looks deep. Fitch is able to separate the hands, and appears safe for the moment. Fitch looking to sweep, and he does. Fitch takes the top and is landing. Fitch quickly transitions to the back, and secures an armbar. Silva escapes as time elapses. Great round!

Round 3: Silva looks exhausted as the round begins. Fitch takes Silva down again. Landing at will Fitch is¬†pummeling¬†the youngster, once again taking the back. Silva is eating several shots. Silva is in tough spot, but is able to escape. Now Silva secures an arm in¬†guillotine. Fitch gives the thumbs up, and breaks the hold. Fitch again takes Silva’s back. And is relentlessly landing shots. Digging to the body, Fitch is looking to continue the punishment. Both hooks in, he flattens out Silva, and is battering his head. Now¬†to the¬†mount, Fitch is pounding Silva. Now landing elbows! Silva is being beat senseless. Silva escapes, but time runs out. Erick Silva is not as cocky as he was before the fight. Jon Fitch looked amazing!¬†Winner via unanimous decision Jon Fitch

FABIO MALDONADO VS. GLOVER TEIXEIRA

Round 1: Two heavy handed Brazilians are ready to go to war in front of their hometown crowd. Big left hook by Teixeira drops Maldonado. Glover transitions to the mount and lands big elbows. The ref is looking in, as more elbows come. Maldonado is looking to escape, but Teixeira keeps the mount and lands again. Huge left hands, and Maldonado is able to take them. More elbows from the mount. Maldonado is a bloddy mess, looking to escape he gives up an arm. Teixeira is looking for the triangle, arm in, and its deep. Maldonado is able to survive, somehow. But more ground and pound is his reward. Glover is dominating, landing more elbows. Vicious ground and pound, but Maldonado gets up. Maldonado lands a big left hook. Teixeira is picking him apart. Big left hook by Maldonado, and another. Teixeira is rocked. The round ends as they clinch. Teixeira is wobbled.

Round 2: Maldonado is a swollen mess, as Teixeira secures another takedown. Quickly Glover is able to transition to the back, however Maldonado shrugs him off and returns to his feet. Maldonado is looking to land that big left hook, but is eating several jabs. Another takedown, into full back mount for Teixeira. Who again softens up Fabio looking for the triangle. More elbow, and Maldonado’s face is looking nothing like it did before the fight. More elbows. Now in side control, Teixeira is visibly exhausted but maintains position. More I.Q. changing elbows from Teixeira. Maldonado is defending well, but still getting busted up. Ref stands them up. Doctor comes in to look at Maldonado. Who lets the fight continue. Back at it after the brief stoppage, Maldonado is still looking to land that one big left hook. Big right hand from Glover, and the round ends. How is Maldonado standing? He came in to Rocky music by the way. OH NO, DOCTOR IN THE CORNER, and the FIGHT IS OVER!¬†Winner via TKO Glover Teixeira rd 2 5:00.

DAVE HERMAN VS. ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA

Round 1:¬†The building erupts as Big Nog, enters the arena to ‘Come with Me’ by Puffy Combs and Jimmy Paige. Herman starts with kicks, as Nogueira looks to take him down. Herman wants nothing to do with Big Nog on the ground and quickly stands, and forces Nog too as well. Noguiera catches a leg, and Herman is able to avoid the takedown. Both fighters pawing jabs, looking to set up a big punch. Up¬†against¬†the fence, Nog lands a few big shots, but Herman defends well as the crowd begins to chant. Nice right hand by Herman momentarily backs of Big Nog. More kicks to Noguiera’s surgically repaired arm (the Mir injury). Herman utilizing his Team Quest pedigree to avoid the takedown again. Big Nog lands a one-two combination as the first frame comes to an end.

Round 2: Round two begins the same way round 1 ended, both fighters exchanging ranging jabs. Big shot by Nogueira, and he passes immediately to half guard, as the fight goes to the mat. Big Nog, is looking for a submission. Americana is hooked in, but gives it up for the mount. Herman looking to reverse. Nog takes the back, but is very high. Very close to an armbar for Minotauro. Herman defends with is leg, and Big nog losses the hold. Back to their feet, Herman looks to establish the range, and lands a big takedown. Landing right into Big Nog’s guard. Then stands up, not wanting to stay in Nogueira territory. Both stand as Nogueira opens up with the hands, and lands another takedown. Full mount, again looking to spin into the armbar. Herman defends well. Herman flip, but Nog holds the arm, and thats it. Dave Herman taps. The crowd is going absolutely bonkers. As Dave Herman learns that Jujitsu does in fact work!¬†Winner by Submission (armbar) Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira rd 2 4:31.

ANDERSON SILVA VS. STEPHAN BONNAR

Round 1: An immediate slip by Silva gives, Bonnar the chance to press the fight agaisnt the cage. Looks to secure the single, but drpops the leg and goes to knees. Silva underhooks and grabs plumb, turning the large Bonnar as the seperate. Bonnar again pressing against the cage, Silva seems to have a plan as he stands on the cage, and Bonnar again presses the action. Silva is standing against the cage, for some reason.Bonnar shoot a single again and eats an elbow. Big one two by Bonnar as Silva drops his hands and showboats. Bonnar happy to oblige again lands, as Silva responds with a right hand of his own. Silva now pushes bonnar against the fence and swarms with a vicious knee drops Bonnar. Right hands to the head land as Bonnar turtles up. Ref looks in, its all over folks. Winner by TKO(Knee and Punches) Anderson Silva rd 1 4:40

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Anderson Silva (32-4 MMA, 15-0 UFC) vs. Stephan Bonnar (14-7 MMA, 8-6 UFC) 

As a replacement bout, this fight is very lopsided in most fans eyes. However, Stephan Bonnar is not a piece of cardboard. He will be entering the fight with a considerable size advantage, and of course his notoriously iron clad chin. On the ground Bonnar is more than capable and would actually rival Silva’s pedigree. But let’s be honest, odds are this fight is going to be a standing war. Although giving away considerable size, Silva will maintain an advantage in every single aspect of the stand-up battle. Using his notorious feigns he will lure in the aggressive Bonnar eventually overwhelming the slower larger fighter.

Prediction:Anderson Silva via 2nd RD TKO

Dave Herman (21-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC)

This us a fight I call the Enigma v The Old Man. Dave Herman, has some of the best athleticism in the¬†weight¬†class, however Herman has yet to put together a consistent effort since joining the UFC. His losses to Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve prove that he is at best at the tail end of the Heavyweight rankings. Its vexing because he should be a lot better than he is! ¬†Coming into Brazil, squaring off with ‘Minotauro’¬†Nogueira will prove to be a mountain he is unable to climb. If Herman can keep the fight standing, he has a small chance, less than a¬†puncher’s¬†chance as Nogueira has better hands. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is an absolute warrior. His history is secure in the sport and although his last fight ended by a kimura that broke his arm, ‘Minotauro’ is still a very dangerous lion.

Prediction: Nogueira via submission Rd 1

Fabio Maldonado (18-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Glover Teixeira (18-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) 

Fabio Maldonado may have the best body punching pedigree in all of the UFC. This guy lifts people off the mat, like something out of a Rocky movie. Maldonado loves to get in tight, and punish the liver with his digging blows. Have lost his last two bouts by decision, Maldonado will be aggressive from the start looking to control the pace early. Glover Teixeira is one of the UFC prodigies. His punching power and aggressiveness are legendary already. Former champions Maurico ‘Shogun’ Rua and Rashad Evans¬†refused short notice fights with Teixeira, even though he has only fought once in the UFC. Trained at the world famous “Pit”, Teixeira has been sparring relentlessly with UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell in¬†preparation¬†for this fight. Could you ask for a better training partner?

Prediction: Teixeira via TKO Rd 2

Jon Fitch (23-4-1 MMA, 13-2-1 UFC)  vs. Erick Silva (14-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC)

In a battle of contrasting styles, this fight depends¬†a lot¬†on who is able to dictate the pace and location of the fight. Erick Silva will have a striking advantage, however his aggressiveness will leave him open to the ‘lay and¬†prey’¬†style of UFC vet Jon Fitch. Fitch has shown time and time again, that he can maintain dominate position for an entire fight. Although not an incredible¬†Greco-Roman wrestler, his MMA wrestling is outstanding. Fitch has grinded down veterans like BJ Penn (draw), Thiago Alves (twice), and Mike Pierce. However it has been almost a year since his last fight. A fight that saw him knocked¬†unconscious¬†in 12 seconds at the hands of Johnny Hendricks. Can Fitch knock off the ring rust, before Silva knocks his chin off? Silva will have to keep the fight standing, and avoid the grappling of Fitch in order to win this fight.

Prediction: Jon Fitch via Unanimous Decision 

Phil Davis (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC)  vs. Wagner Prado  (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

This fight was supposed to happen months ago, however an errant eye poke by Davis caused a premature stoppage that resulted in a no contest. Now fully healed Wagner Prado is ready to display his striking for the first time in the UFC. He will have his hands full with the outstanding wrestling of Phil Davis. Davis is trying to get his name back into the contender mix, in the very congested light heavyweight division. With a significant reach advantage Davis is going to look too set up his shoot, off his jab. If he is able to get Prado to the ground it will be very difficult for him to escape. Davis  has smothered out victories over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and submitted young gun Alexander Gustaffson. Only Rashad Evans has been able to control Davis thus far, a trend that should continue.

Prediction: Davis via 3rd round submission

Demian Maia (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) vs. Rick Story (14-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC)

Not many people have improved in the striking department as well as Damian Maia. The striking will only get more powerful, as he will now be fighting at 170 lbs. His Jiu Jitsu is well known, and with submissions over Chael Sonnen, Nate Quarry, and Ed Herman he is used to fighting larger opponents. There are not many bigger than Rick Story at 170 lbs. As a wrestler, Story has some of the best skills in the division. However at times he seems to loose focus. At one time he was highly touted, now he seems to be one or two losses away from being released. He has not looked impressive in his last three fights, although he won the last by unanimous decision against an outmatched Brock Jardine. Its only a matter of time before this fight goes to the mat.

Prediction: Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision

 

Multiple sources have confirmed, although the UFC is yet too, that Anderson Silva will fight at 205 lbs against Stephan Bonner at UFC 153 in Brazil. Filling in for the card that was decimated by injuries to both the main event, and co main event. Also rumored is Wanderlei Silva v Chael Sonnen.