Anderson Silva, right, lands a punch against Stephan Bonnar on his way to… (Felipe Dana / Associated…)
Saturday night's UFC 153 card takes place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and is headlined by a light heavyweight matchup between longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar. Bonnar will look to score one of the biggest upsets in MMA history in a fight that is a mismatch on paper.
In preliminary action, jiu jitsu specialist Cristiano Marcello utilized his striking to score a close split decision victory over Reza Madadi and American Chris Camozzi won a unanimous decision over Brazilian favorite Luiz Cane that dropped the once promising Cane to 1-4 in his last five bouts.
In the FX portion of the card, Sergio Moraes scored his first UFC win by defeating Renee Forte with a third round rear naked choke. Former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Brandao rebounded from an upset loss to Darren Elkins by defeating Joey Gambino via unanimous decision. Well respected lightweight veteran Gleison Tibau picked up a hard fought unanimous decision victory over Francisco Trinaldo. In the FX main event, popular Ultimate Fighter Brazil winner Rony Jason won a wild slugfest via second round TKO over Sam Sicilia.
Demian Maia vs. Rick Story
Story is a gritty fighter who relies on his wrestling, clinching and pressure to score wins. Maia is a jiu jitsu ace, although he hasn't actually won a fight via submission since early 2009. Maia's standup skills have greatly improved in the interim, however.
Round 1. Story lands a solid punch at the start of the fight. Maia responds by taking Story down to the mat. Story looks to stand up against the cage while Maia works to keep him pinned to the ground. As Story tries to get up, Maia locks up a rear naked choke. Maia isn't able to get the arm all the way under the chin, but he squeezes Story's chin and face hard and Story is forced to tap out to the pressure.
Winner: Demian Maia, submission, round 1.
Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado
This bout is a rematch, as the two fighters fought in August only to have the fight end in 90 seconds with an accidental eye poke no contest. Prado, an undefeated striking specialist, was looking good in the brief period prior to the poke. Davis, a former NCAA wrestling champion, is a dangerous mix of elite wrestling and a fast developing submission game.
Round 1. After a feeling out process, Davis looks to clinch and take down Prado a minute into the fight. Prado defends without difficulty. Prado lands a head kick moments later. In the midst of a striking exchange, Davis takes Prado down. As Prado looks to stand up, Davis tries to go for a rear naked choke much like Maia did in the first fight. Prado stands up but Davis slams him right back down with authority. Davis lands some punches and pulls Prado back down when Prado tries to stand. Prado once more gets to his feet and once more is thrown down as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Davis.
Round 2. Prado is reluctant to open up standing after all the takedowns in the first round. Davis shoots in and takes Prado down around 90 seconds into the round. Prado gets back up halfway through the round and Davis backs away. Prado is moving slowly and throwing little, appearing worn down from the early pressure of Davis. Davis slams Prado down with two minutes left in the round. He locks up an arm triangle choke but Prado is able to wiggle out. Davis nicely transitions into a gator roll and gets the submission with the anaconda choke.
Winner: Phil Davis, submission, round 2.
Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva
The stakes are high in this welterweight showdown. Silva has looked dominant in his early UFC career and a win against Fitch could set up a long run as a top 10 fighter in the 170 pound division. Fitch is a perpetual contender in the division, but rarely gets high profile bouts because his workmanlike style is often less than thrilling. An impressive win here would make a big difference in Fitch's future.
Round 1. Fitch lands a couple leg kicks early. Silva goes for a knee and Fitch takes Silva down. A scramble ensues, with Fitch grabbing Silva's back up against the cage. Fitch neutralizes Silva against the cage and lands a series of punches to the side of the head. Fitch grabs a standing arm triangle choke but Silva gets out of danger and they separate. Silva cracks Fitch with a big right hand and clinches. They grapple for position with Fitch landing a few knees. They exchange elbows on the break. Silva throws a spinning back kick. They clinch again and exchange knees to the body. Fitch drops down and goes for another takedown. 10-9 Fitch.