Anderson Silva will fight at 205 pounds for the third time. | Sherdog.com
Anderson Silva has won 16 consecutive fights, 15 of them in the Octagon. When he squares off with Stephan Bonnar in the UFC 153 main event on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, players in Sherdog.com’s MMA Pick’Em fantasy game expect business as usual, as 92 percent have chosen “The Spider” to defeat “The American Psycho.”
Silva has two previous appearances at 205 pounds in the UFC, scoring first-round knockouts of James Irvin and Forrest Griffin. The middleweight champion last appeared in July, when he stopped longtime antagonist Chael Sonnen in the second frame at UFC 148.
Bonnar, who is best known for his back-and-forth slugfest with Griffin at “The Ultimate Fighter 1” Finale, carries a three-fight winning streak into the bout, with victories over Krzysztof Soszynski, Igor Pokrajac and Kyle Kingsbury to his credit. While the Carlson Gracie protégé has been stopped due to cuts twice in his professional career, he has never been knocked out in 22 fights.
In the co-main event, Antonio Nogueira makes his return from arm surgery against Dave Herman in a heavyweight clash. Competitors expect a successful comeback for “Minotauro,” as 87 percent favor him against the American.
Nogueira has not competed since a kimura from Frank Mir snapped his arm at UFC 140. The 36-year-old knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 finalist Brendan Schaub the last time he fought in Brazil at UFC 134. Meanwhile, Herman has suffered back-to-back losses to Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson in his last two Octagon outings.
Silva will not be the biggest favorite at the HSBC Arena, as 97 percent of participants have sided with the highly regarded Glover Teixeira in a light heavyweight tilt with Fabio Maldonado. Teixeira impressed in his promotional debut at UFC 146, submitting Kingsbury in less than two minutes.
A former professional boxer, Maldonado has dropped two straight fights in the UFC, falling to Kingsbury and Pokrajac via unanimous decision. He debuted in the Octagon with a third-round technical knockout of James McSweeney at UFC 120.
Other Pick’Em trends for UFC 153:
• In a close call, 53 percent of users pick Jon Fitch to defeat Brazilian prospect Erick Silva at welterweight. The American Kickboxing Academy product was sidelined all summer by a shoulder injury and will be looking to rebound from a shocking knockout loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC 141. Silva has been dominant in three UFC appearances, with only a questionable disqualification loss to Carlo Prater marring his record;
• A solid 74 percent of players favor Demian Maia over Rick Story in a welterweight conflict. The decorated grappler defeated Dong Hyun Kim in his 170-pound debut in July, while Story stopped a two-bout skid with a decision win against Brock Jardine in June;
• Phil Davis and Wagner Prado spent 68 seconds in the cage together at UFC on Fox 4. An inadvertent eye poke by Davis resulted in the bout being declared a no-contest, but players like “Mr. Wonderful” to better assert himself the second time around -- 88 percent have chosen the former Penn State University wrestler to knock the Brazilian from the ranks of the unbeaten;
• In undercard bouts, competitors favor Rony Mariano Bezerra (74 percent) over Sam Sicilia, Gleison Tibau (86 percent) over Francisco Trinaldo, Diego Brandao (91 percent) over Joey Gambino, Sergio Moraes (85 percent) over Renee Forte, Luiz Cane (77 percent) over Chris Camozzi and Cristiano Marcello (67 percent) over Reza Madadi.