Last night, the UFC 153 event scheduled for Rio De Janeiro went off, with a solid night of fights and a main event featuring Anderson Silva taking on Stephan Bonnar. Silva put on an utterly stunning performance, getting the KO victory late in the first round. Silva was a heavy 7 to 1 favorite going into the fight, and there was never a moment in the fight where those who bet the underdog might have felt good about things.
Bonnar did the best he could. He came in looking physically stronger than he ever has, and he did try to grind with Silva. He may have connected with one solid punch the whole fight, and if you want to stretch the search for positives, he seemed to miss by less than say, Forrest Griffin, but this was a whitewash from start to finish.
Silva stated after the fight that he would probably avoid fighting at 205, that he wanted to stay in the 185 lb division. So what awaits Silva at Middleweight?
From a bettor’s perspective, we are looking at a whole bunch of matches where Silva will be favored by at least greater than 5 to 1. Silva really is an ambassador for the sport at this point, in terms of each match of his can be used for the greater good. At 38, how many he has left before he calls it quits is anyone’s guess.
If the UFC is smart, they will use Silva against top contender Michael Bisping and they will make the fight in London to pump some life into their failing British market. Bisping has earned the shot, however he is unlikely to really threaten Silva, as his style is well balanced but not spectacular at any one aspect.
The next level of contenders after that bring you to Mark Munoz or Cris Weidman, unless you are going to look at re-matching Silva with a past victim. Belfort, Sonnen and Okami sit in that category, but all would need to do something spectacular in their next outing to make anyone even care. Hector Lombard is a long way away, but on the roster.
Possibly some heat could be obtained from a match with STRIKEFORCE Champion Luke Rockhold, however that has ‘mauling’ written all over it.
Anderson Silva will likely not fight again until the first quarter of 2013, and when he does, he will be a massive, prohibitive favorite no matter who he gets. And based on his performance against Stephan Bonnar, betting the underdog may be like throwing money away.