UFC 153 Silva vs. Bonnar: Wrestling Observer Preview & Predictions

UFC 153

By Josh Nason

One of the greatest fighters of all-time against one of the most familiar names in UFC history headlines the organization's fourth show in four weeks, a fast-rising 205-pound prospect wants to move one step closer to name value and an MMA legend returns to action for the first time since his arm got broken.

It's UFC 153 and our panel returns to make their main card predictions.

Our panel:

- Dave Meltzer (82-39): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

- Todd Martin (76-45): Weekly FFD guest & RAW recapper | LA Times | Sherdog

- Mike Sempervive (74-47): Wrestling Observer Live | Big Audio Nightmare

- Mike Sawyer (75-46) of Tough Talk

- Josh Nason (71-46):
FFD guest | FIGHT! Magazine | Bloody Elbow

- Oliver Copp (73-42) of Tough Talk


Anderson Silva (32-4) vs. Stephan Bonnar (14-7)

The 37-year-old Silva returns to 205 pounds for the first time since August 2009, a weight class where he's fought less than five minutes in two dominant performances. The man that hasn't lost since January 2006 faces the man who hasn't fought since November 2011. At 35 years old, Bonnar has won his last three but went into semi-retirement because there wasn't interesting fights being thrown his way. He's never been KO'd or submitted, but that likely will end Saturday night.

Silva: Sawyer, Meltzer, Nason, Sempervive, Martin
Bonnar: Copp

Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueira (33-7-1-1) vs. Dave Herman (21-4)

Another late replacement to this card, Nogueira hasn't been seen since getting his arm snapped by Frank Mir last December, which halted the momentum from his first round KO of Brendan Schaub. He's just 1-2 since 2010, but should be the prohibitive favorite against Herman, who has dropped two straight by T/KO and hasn't endeared himself to UFC president Dana White this past year. However, he has never been submitted in 25 fights.

Nogueira: Meltzer, Nason, Sempervive, Copp, Martin
Herman: Sawyer

Glover Teixeira (18-2) vs. Fabio Maldonado (18-5)

Teixeira is the buzzworthy new addition to the 205-pound division, kept on the outside for far too long due to visa issues. Making his presence felt with a first round annihilation of Kyle Kingsbury in May, Teixiera was originally supposed to fight Quinton Jackson, who withdrew due to injury. Maldonado needs a win having lost two straight decisions. If there is ever a time for the former undefeated boxer (22-0, 21 KOs) to let his hands go, it's time to do so now.

Teixeira: Sawyer, Meltzer, Nason, Sempervive, Copp, Martin

Jon Fitch (23-4-1-1) vs. Erick Silva (14-2-0-1)

After one winning streak that seemingly ran 24 years and another run of five straight, 34-year-old Fitch finds himself in a strange spot having drawn BJ Penn and been KO'd by Johny Hendricks in 12 seconds back in February. He faces the fast-rising Silva, a 28-year-old who has been nothing but dominant in three first round annihilations (including his b.s. DQ loss to Carlo Prater in January). Lights out or ground and pound?

Fitch: Sempervive, Copp, Martin
Silva: Sawyer, Meltzer, Nason

Phil Davis (9-1-0-1) vs. Wagner Prado (8-0-0-1) II

In the rematch everyone wants to see, the 28-year-old Davis faces Prado again after their August 2012 bout was ended in 88 seconds after an accidental eye poke on Prado. Before the no-contest, Davis was trying to rebound over his decision loss to Rashad Evans while knockout machine Prado was making his UFC debut.

Davis: Sawyer, Meltzer, Nason, Sempervive, Copp, Martin

Follow along with all the live play-by-play action with Dave here on WrestlingObserver.com, starting with the Fuel prelims.

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