December 19 the UFC closes out its 2012 back at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with UFC 155 live and direct on Pay-Per-View. “The Crippler” Chris Leben (22-8) greets 185lb. Strikeforce transplant Derek Brunson (9-2) in the card’s opener. “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (16-4) meets Constantinos Philippou (11-2) in a pivotal match-up for both men. The pace is going to be set to “frantic” and “erratic” in the co-main event when fan favorites and submission artists “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (22-7) and “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (21-4) collide in a lightweight showdown. In the main event, Cain Velasquez (10-1) will seek redemption as he tries to take the heavyweight title back from the man that took it from him and handed him his first loss: “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (15-1). Before this tale of revenge gets played, one more rematch is in order when “Thunder” Yushin Okami (27-7) takes on “The Talent” Alan Belcher (18-6) once again. It was Okami who proved triumphant in their debut at UFC 62 in 2006 but with six years passing and experience gained, Belcher is looking to even the score.
The UFC returned to Brazil for UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar and they were met with resounding success as a sold out arena played witness to a night of electrifying bouts. Demian Maia (17-4) opened the card with a dominant submission win over “The Horror” Rick Story (14-6). Next out, “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (10-1) finished his business with “Caldeirao” Wagner Prado (8-1) with a beautiful gator roll in the second frame. Jon Fitch (24-4-1) tacked another decision on to his list of wins by dominating blue chipper “Indio” Erick Silva (14-3), winning “Fight of the Night” in the process. Brutal light heavyweight beatdown machine Glover Teixeira (19-2) put a beating on Fabio Maldonado (18-6) that left fans cringing and calling for a stoppage early on. The co-main event saw long-time heavyweight superstar “Minotauro” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-7-1) feed “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (21-5) his words by handing him his first ever submission loss. Finally, in the main event, the GOAT, “The Spider” Anderson Silva (33-4) did in five minutes what no one else in the UFC has been able to do: finish “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (15-8). The night was filled with solid MMA showings and the fans were definitely big winners, however, not everyone can come out ahead.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View @ 10:00PM ET)—
Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar: Silva via TKO (Knee), Round 1, 4:40
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dave Herman: Nogueira via Submission (Armbar), Round 2, 4:31
Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonado: Teixeira via TKO (Doctor Stoppage), Round 2, 5:00
Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva: Fitch via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado: Davis via Submission (Anaconda Choke), Round 2, 4:29
Demian Maia vs. Rick Story: Maia via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 2:30
Tonight Brazilian fans get the opportunity to showcase why they are widely considered the most ravenous in MMA as the Ultimate Fighting Championship takes over the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro with UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar. The supersized six-fight main card on Pay-Per-View features some of the the host country’s top native fighters, with some taking on opponents from across the world and others fighting their native countrymen. BJJ expert Demian Maia (16-4) and ten-fight UFC vet “The Horror” Rick Story (14-5) battle it out in a welterweight match-up to start off the night, followed by a rematch between four-time NCAA Div. I All-American wrestler “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (9-1) and Brazilian KO artist “Caldeirao” Wagner Prado (8-0) after their August fight ended in a No Contest due to inadvertent eye poke. Former top welterweight contender Jon Fitch (23-4) takes to the cage against fast-rising Brazilian prospect Erick Silva (14-2). Team Black House fighter and former UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion “Minotauro” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7) pits his BJJ mastery against the heavy hands of Team Quest’s “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (21-4). The co-main event sees a pair of Brazil’s finest take to the Octagon in a 205lbs. match-up, as current owner of a 16-fight winning streak, Glover Teixeira (18-2), dukes it out with fellow fight-finisher Fabio Maldonado (18-5). Capping off the stellar UFC 153 line-up is a light heavyweight bout featuring tried-and-true tough guy Stephan Bonnar (15-7) and UFC Middleweight Champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (32-4) in a short-notice non-title fight scheduled purely for the entertainment of the fans, and entertain it certainly will. While some fight outcomes may seem obvious from the start, it is MMA and truly anything can happen. Here, the staff of MMA Gospel dishes out their predictions of how the night will unfold.