UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva will return to the light heavyweight division to face TUF 1 runner-up “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153 on October 13th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. USA Today and MMAjunkie.com first reported on the new main event tonight.
The Silva-Bonnar bout replaces the original UFC 153 main event between José “Scarface” Aldo and Frankie “The Answer” Edgar. Also targeted for the card is a heavyweight bout between Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira and Dave Herman. Glover Teixeira faces Fabio Maldonado at 205 pounds.
The changes come one day after the Aldo-Edgar main event and original co-feature between Teixeira and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson were both scrapped due to injuries. Silva (32-4-0) and Bonnar (15-7-0) will face off in a three-round, non-title matchup. Silva has won 16 straight fights including 15 in a row in UFC competition. The long-time middleweight champion is widely regarded as the best fighter in MMA today. Bonnar has recently flirted with thoughts of retirement, but he is currently riding a three-fight winning streak. He will nevertheless enter the main event bout with Silva as a significant underdog.
As first reported by Tatame, Nogueira (33-7-1, 1 NC) will battle Herman (21-4-0) in a heavyweight clash that could potentially serve as the new co-main event. Nogueira will compete for the first time since suffering a broken arm at the hands of Frank Mir in the pair’s December rematch. The jiu-jitsu ace is 4-3 since joining the UFC ranks in 2007. Herman earned a come-from-behind TKO victory in his June 2011 UFC debut, but he has dropped back-to-back fights since. He now receives a big opportunity in the bout with the former PRIDE and UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion.
Teixeira (18-2-0) and Maldonado (18-5-0) now face off in a bout that could propel the winner into light heavyweight title contention. Teixeira earned a dominant victory over Kyle “Kingsbu” Kingsbury in his long-awaited Octagon debut in May. He has finished 16 of his career opponents and is seen by some as one of the final challengers available to current UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon “Bones” Jones. Maldonado was originally set to face Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate at UFC 154, but instead steps in to battle his Brazilian counterpart in October.
UFC 153: “Silva vs Bonnar” takes place on October 13th at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)