The Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization returns to Pay-Per-View this Saturday when the world’s greatest martial artist – long-reigning UFC middleweight king Anderson “The Spider” Silva – steps up to light heavyweight to face Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar.
The three-round special attraction is the main event of UFC 153, which features six fights on the Pay-Per-View main card, including a heavyweight showdown between Brazilian icon “Minotauro” Nogueira and Dave Herman and a chance to see two of the most exciting new talents in the UFC – Glover Teixeira and Erick Silva – take on serious tests in Fábio Maldonado and Jon Fitch, respectively.
Following a well attended open workout at the Arcos de Lapa, Rio, the fighters had the following to say:
Anderson Silva, UFC middleweight champion, fights at light heavyweight Saturday: “Stephan Bonnar is a great fighter; his story is a big part of the UFC. He’s big, big guy but I feel good not to have to cut weight to middleweight. For me, it is very important to retire undefeated, and I want to retire undefeated in the UFC. This is a tricky night for me Saturday. He has good BJJ and brings the fight. If I have the chance, I will finish this fight in one round. Stephan Bonnar always fights so hard. I will have more speed, more agility than him, but I don’t know about the power. So if I see the chance, I will finish this quickly.”
Stephan Bonnar, UFC light heavyweight: “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. I asked for a big name, and I got the biggest name in the sport. But he’s fighting me at my weight, 205 pounds, and that gives me an advantage. He’s not fought anyone who will come at him like I have. He’s the most accurate striker in the sport, so I know I am going to get punched and kicked and I’m cool with that. But he’s going to get roughed up too. He’s getting punched and kicked – by a much bigger man. If I win this fight, I shock the world. I rule the world. Life is going to be good Saturday night.”
“Minotauro” Nogueira, UFC heavyweight: “I’m very happy to be back. My arm is healthy and I’ve rehabbed it so hard I think it is now stronger than my other arm. I had to work hard for so long to get my strength and power back and I am so happy to be fighting in Rio, where I live most of the year. Dave Herman is a good wrestler, has great double-legs, and is a big guy. He talks smack about BJJ but he’s not fought someone with submissions like me before. I will knock him out or submit him.”
Dave Herman, UFC heavyweight: “This is my biggest fight to date, he is a legend and will look great on my record. He’s won 20 fights by submission – but we all know BJJ doesn’t work. It’s useless. Wrestling means you don’t need to worry about jiu-jitsu. I’ve never lost by a submission and I am not worried about it at all.”
Glover Teixeira, UFC light heavyweight: “I’ve wanted to be in the UFC for so long and now that I am here it is living a dream. I learned from Chuck Liddell that it is important to be an exciting fighter, to go for the finish and that it is important for you to go out and excite the crowd. I will fight anyone in the UFC. I waited so long to get here – I will fight anyone. Maldonado is a good fighter and will bring the fight to me. But I will knock him out, knockout of the night maybe.”
Fábio Maldonado, UFC light heavyweight: “He said he will knock me out? He’s never encountered a strong chin like mine. I know for a fact my boxing is better than Glover’s. I know he’s never seen anyone with my boxing skills. I know he is a great fighter with hype and a lot of people don’t want to face him – but I do. I have one advantage – I know how to hurt people. My strategy is to exchange punches and see who is the toughest. I will defeat him.”
Jon Fitch, UFC welterweight: “He’s got some hype on him but I will shut him down like I shut everyone down. He’s fast and explosive and I know I can’t have a slow first round against someone like him. I have to use my striking to set up my takedowns. I know he has a bright future but it is not his time yet. I will beat him up like I did all the rest.”
Erick Silva, UFC welterweight: “When I see the chance to finish the fight, I will do so, right away. All my brothers will be there, my father, my wife, my kids, all my family will be there Saturday and I won’t let them down. I think people are getting to know me better, the fans, and I am in a big fight this time. Fitch was ranked No.2 in the division for a long time but I think he’s never faced a fighter as fast and as aggressive as I am. People ask about fighting for the title but I am trying to build my career one fight at a time. This fight on Saturday is a big step for me on that road.”