No, Anderson Silva competed at UFC 153 to help save an event that had been decimated by injury, but in doing so he elevated his legacy to an even higher level not only with his decision to fight, but with his performance and systematic destruction of Stephan Bonnar.
Heading into the fight, Bonnar was a humongous underdog facing the fighter most widely considered to be the greatest MMA practitioner to ever put on gloves. Still, there’s always the idea that an upset could be brewing.
Matt Serra knocked out Georges St-Pierre when the world said there was no way. Gabriel Gonzaga finished Mirko Cro Cop when it appeared the Croatian was destined to one day be UFC champion.
Unfortunately for Stephan Bonnar he was facing Anderson Silva, and the chances of an upset faded as each minute in the fight passed.
When the fight started as Silva circled he slipped on the mat, and Bonnar took that as a cue to rush in and look for the takedown. Silva blocked his attempts, and worked from inside the clinch against the cage.
Eventually, Silva slipped free as Bonnar backed away, but in a peculiar move the UFC’s reigning middleweight champion didn’t transition out from the cage. Instead, Silva stooed firmly against the back of the cage, inviting Bonnar to throw punches at him.
Almost like he was a child playing with a toy, Silva ducked and dodged Bonnar’s best attempts to hit him, and eventually tossed the former Ultimate Fighter season 1 finalist to the mat.
Like a switch got turned on, Silva launched into terminator mode and moved forward to effectively obliterate Bonnar, and with one knee straight to his opponent’s chest the fight essentially came to a close.
Silva’s knee burrowed into Bonnar’s midsection, and he dropped to the mat in obvious pain as the Brazilian quickly reigned down a few more shots until the referee could swoop in for the save.
Now 16-0 inside the Octagon, there’s no doubt that Stephan Bonnar wasn’t Anderson Silva’s toughest test, but he surely proved that even on short notice and out of his weight class, he’s still the best fighter in the world today.
Anderson Silva won’t be the one to tell you that however.
“I’m not the best,” said Silva following his latest victory. “I just believe that I can do things that people think are impossible.”
The fight with Bonnar was Silva’s third trip to the light heavyweight division since joining the UFC in 2006, but he has no intention of stating there for the long term future.
“No, I’m not going to fight at 205 again,” Silva stated. “I fought at 205 to save the event, I fight at 185lbs, and I was doing this just to save the event and put on a show for everybody.”
Silva certainly delivered by putting on a great show with his first round knockout of Stephan Bonnar, and now he will in all likelihood sit out the rest of 2012 while he awaits his next challenge to present itself.