As UFC 153 approaches next weekend, the media had an opportunity today to ask questions to the combatants in both the main event and co-main event.
UFC 153 has been overhauled due to injuries since it was first reported and it took Anderson Silva agreeing to fight Stephan Bonnar in a light heavyweight match up to keep the event alive. These two took the fight on less than a month notice and therefore it will be a three round affair.
The co-main event will feature a pair of heavies as Dave Herman faces off against the Brazil native Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira.
Herman was lost from the call early and answered only one question about how he felt to be facing Big Nog in Brazil. Dave Herman is excited for the opportunity. Nogueira on the other hand answered numerous questions for the media.
Big Nog, if you remember, last fought in the octagon against Frank Mir back at UFC 140. Nogueira had the chance for a TKO or KO victory when he went for the submission instead and Mir ended up snapping the bone in his upper arm with a kimura.
Nogueira feels fully healed and is glad to be fighting in his native Brazil. He has a great team that has got him ready for this fight. Minotauro admits that he should have finished Mir with strikes and if the opportunity is there against Herman he won’t let it pass by again.
Herman has stated before that Brazilian jiu-jitsu doesn’t work and when Big Nog was asked about those comments he referred to his record of 33 wins with 20 of them coming by submission.
Nogueira was questioned about whether or not he had another title run in him and he feels he does if it is someone other than Dos Santos as champion. Dos Santos is a training partner of his and a good friend and he regards him as a brother so he would not be interested in that match up.
As stated Silva and Bonnar agreed to this fight on short notice even though Silva is the Middleweight champion he still feels a responsibility to the UFC family in helping them to succeed and that means taking a fight on short notice he will.
Silva is also a family man and sees this as a chance to teach his children about ethics. This will be the Spider’s third fight now at 205 but has no plans on making a permanent move up in weight.
He stated that he has teammates more than capable of facing off against Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and that he is now 37 and still has fighters to face in the middleweight ranks.
While this may not be Silva’s biggest fight in his career he knows how the fight game works and anyone can be knocked out or submitted at any time. He is honored to be fighting Bonnar who has proven himself in the UFC and helped to bring the UFC to the forefront with his fight in the finale of the first TUF season with Forrest Griffin.
Silva’s opponent Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar hasn’t fought since last November when he defeated Kyle Kingsbury by decision.
Bonnar had been in a semi-retirement phase after that fight because he was just enjoying fighting and not worried about going after the title which is in contrary to Dana White’s philosophy that everyone should be hungry for the title.
After months of not being in the gym Bonnar was asked to help get Dave Bautista ready for his upcoming fight. This triggered Stephan to get into the gym before helping out Bautista and two weeks in the UFC called with this fight.
Bonnar feels he his in good enough shape to fight a three round fight with Silva now and that a win could get him the marquee names out there for his next fight. Bonnar didn’t want to get too much into his game plan for the fight but admitted that he is not going to be able to out finesse the middleweight champ and will probably need to make it ugly and take a punch to land one.
Bonnar also stated that a win over Silva will be the highlight of his career regardless if a belt is on the line or not. Also to note, Bonnar has won his last three fights against Kingsbury, Igor Pokrajac, and Krzysztof Soszynski.
Feel free to check out the video preview of the event and follow @wonlinemma on twitter for more MMA coverage.