When Jose Aldo succumbed to injury, UFC 153 was left without a main event. Two men stepped up to make a main event happen on the fight card that takes place in the HBSC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 13th. UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva (32-4, MMA) offered to fight in his hometown and the card was saved. Bonnar answered the call to step up and take the fight on a month's notice, proving he's a true warrior ready for any challenge.
The last time Stephan Bonnar (15-7, MMA) fought in Brazil he faced Lyoto Machida on the 13th of September. When he steps in to fight arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time, it will be on October 13th. Both Bonnar's and Silva's names have 13 characters. Anderson has 13 UFC finishes, Bonnar has 13 UFC fights. Bonnar's also a 13 to 1 underdog coming into this 3-round, non-title fight. What does it all mean?
On Wednesday afternoon, Bonnar spoke with a small group of reporters at One Kick Nick's gym in Las Vegas and spoke his thoughts and superstitions about his upcoming fight. "There's a lot of weird superstitions, there like 5 Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in October that happens once every 139 years," Bonnar said. "A lot of strange s**t is happening. Kid coming, and stars aligning, and 13 and five Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdays getting called out of retirement to fight the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world in his backyard and being such an underdog, it's all so perfect. I really believe it's part of the plan."
When Bonnar took the fight, he didn't even believe it would happen. He had previously campaigned to fight Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, that didn't happen. He had wanted to coach The Ultimate Fighter this season with Forrest Griffin and have a rubber match against him, that didn't happen. Maybe there is a time and place in one's life where everything collides in one moment, for Bonnar this might be the acme, the pinnacle of a long, storied career.
His nickname is the "American Psycho." It's possible it takes either pure insanity or sheer bravery to take on the top pound-for-pound fighter on a month's notice. But, Bonnar knew he just couldn't pass this fight up. "Very rarely does a great opportunity come along, even if it is a long shot opportunity. That's kind of the story of my life. I'm kind of like, I don't have the best luck. I'm kinda the bad luck kid. Every once in a while a great opportunity comes along and I take advantage of it. I did that with season one and this is the biggest opportunity to ever come my way. It kind of tops season one I'd say."
The fight he referred to was an all out brawl that he had with Forrest Griffin in the season one finale of The Ultimate Fighter. The fight propelled the UFC to become the phenomenon it is today and Bonnar and Griffin became instant stars with the organization. People who had never heard of the sport tuned in to see the fight and were amazed at the two men who were giving each other everything they had in a war that went the distance. Though Bonnar lost and was not crowned the Ultimate Fighter, the fight has gone down as one of the best of all time. Like that fight, Bonnar said there's no way he's going to face Silva and not give it all he's got.
"The odds are stacked against and no one's giving me a chance and I kind of like it that way. It's no pressure on me," Bonnar stated. "I just know what I can do. I'm not the type that's always fixed on outcomes. I'm more of the type that asks God to give me the strength to do my absolute best in there. I mean look at every fight I've ever had, always had, I've been hit with lots of big shots, but I get up and keep coming."
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