Five things we learned about UFC 153
By James Walker
UFC 153 in Brazil had an expected result in the main event but several new developments throughout the rest of the card.
Here are the top five things we learned from the event:
No. 5: Phil Davis is still “wonderful”
Remember Phil Davis? He was a fast-rising prospect and the only person to beat Alexander Gustafsson. But injuries and a convincing loss to Rashad Evans suddenly put “Mr. Wonderful” off the map at light heavyweight. Davis hadn’t won a fight since March 2011, but put on a dominant showing against previously undefeated Wagner Prado. Davis used the same anaconda choke that he beat Gustafsson with to secure the win on Saturday. Davis owns wins over Brian Stann, Gustafsson and Tim Boetsch. It’s time to take Davis seriously again.
No. 4: Erick Silva is not quite ready
UFC welterweight prospect Erick Silva is one of the most dynamic, young talents in MMA. But he wasn’t ready for the huge step up in competition at UFC 153 against Jon Fitch. This was a tough matchup for Silva for various reasons. The grinding, suffocating style of Fitch didn’t allow Silva to use his dynamic striking. Fitch’s experience also was key. Silva showed toughness in this fight, which will take him far. But it’s not his time yet. Fitch is a top seven welterweight who will move up another notch.
No. 3: The Teixeira hype is real
There is a reason top fighters don’t want to face Glover Teixeira. And the light heavyweight contender showed why he's getting dodged in his dominant TKO of Fabio Maldonado. Sans one well timed left hook, this was a lopsided beating. Teixeira pounded Maldonado for two full rounds in a fight that probably went longer than it should have. Maldonado showed a strong chin but was pretty much out of it while fighting back. It’s time for the UFC to line up a big name against Teixeira. It appears another date against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson could await. Jackson backed out of their UFC 153 fight due to injury.
No. 2: Jiu-jitsu does work
Heavyweight Dave Herman made one of the dumbest statements in MMA history leading up to his fight with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Herman said that jiu-jitsu doesn’t work. That’s a slap in the face to many jiu-jitsu fighters like “Big Nog” and the sport of MMA in general. Nogueira made it a point to submit Herman and did so with a second-round armbar. You could see Nogueira aggressively going to submissions to prove a point in front of his hometown fans. That was exactly the result Nogueira (and Anderson Silva) wanted.
No. 1: No more gimmick fights for Silva
It was the most predictable main event the UFC has produced all year. Anderson Silva knocked out Stephan Bonnar in the first round. Did anyone not see this coming? This was a mismatch of epic proportions as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world toyed with Bonnar before knocking him out with a crushing knee to the chest. Silva, 37, only has so many fights left in his career. This should be the last time he steps in the Octagon against a terribly overmatched opponent. Silva’s legacy is secure. At this point we need superfights - whether it’s against Georges St. Pierre or Jon Jones. Even a title defense against Chris Weidman would be ok, but with limited fights left before retirement, it's megabouts only for "The Spider" from here on out.
Watch the UFC 153 video highlights