MMA Access: The Injuries and the Insanity of UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar
Last Updated on Monday, 17 September 2012 10:41
Written by PunchDrunkGamer
Monday, 17 September 2012 10:41
BEHIND THE SCENES MMA ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
The Injuries and the Insanity of UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar
By Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester
The injury bug has struck again. This time it has nearly jeopardized the fan-favorite Brazilian card of UFC 153. UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo has pulled out of his fight against Frankie Edgar. That anticipated main event is now cancelled. Rampage Jackson had to step out of his fight against Glover Teixeira because of an elbow injury. The fisticuff brawl that everyone wanted to see is now cancelled. What can the UFC do to save this card? Put Anderson Silva in the main event against an opponent he can surely demolish in his home country.
Absurdity seems to be the word when thinking of Anderson Silva versus Stephan Bonnar in the main event of a pay-per-view card. The UFC and Dana White will undoubtedly spew out the words “this is business” or “the show must go on”, but it seems insane to put Bonnar against the reigning middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Very few fans could honestly believe that Stephan Bonnar has a chance of defeating Anderson Silva.
Most would deem this feeding a lamb to slaughter, but one thing that no one can discount Bonnar for is his heart. He is always game in his fights, and he never shies away from anyone. In the 21 fights in his career he has never been KO’d or submitted, and his only losses via TKO are a result from suffering cuts by Lyoto Machida and an inadvertent headbutt from Krzysztof Soszynski. So while “The American Pyscho” has come in as a major underdog (+850 underdog), he will be a tough, spirited, and willing opponent.
But a lot of respect must go out to Anderson Silva as well for taking this fight on short notice. This is not the first time that Silva has stepped up to fight at light heavyweight, where the bout will take place at UFC 153. He did so against James Irvin and Forrest Griffin, both of whom he knocked out in the first round. Placing polarizing thoughts of the matchmaking aside, choosing Anderson Silva to be in the main event makes a lot of sense. He is the country’s most popular athlete and seeing him in the main event will still draw a hefty amount of pay-per-view numbers and ticket sales at the gate. Brazilians will line up to see this guy, and it was a great business move for the UFC.
With an Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira versus Dave Herman match-up verbally agreed, and Fabio Maldonado stepping up to face Glover Teixeira it seems that UFC 153 is all but saved. But that still leaves the problem that nearly caused the card to be cancelled in the first place… injuries. At this point, Dana White has to be scratching his head and saying how ridiculous it is that these injuries keep taking place.
Injuries have been a problem for quite some time in the UFC. But never has it been nearly as detrimental to the UFC as a business. The cancellation of UFC 151 was reportedly at least a $40 Million loss to those who were involved. And while most will blame that on the UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, it was still a business decision based on the chain reaction of an injury to Dan Henderson.
No one knows the cause or the solution but most theorists point the fingers at the fighter’s insurance. While it was great for the athletes involved, it does seem like this injury bug began around the time of its inclusion. Is it because now when an injury occurs a fighter will take advantage of the insurance coverage to get the injury fixed? Probably so and who would blame them. In the past, it was common that fighters would still fight injured. Now however, it seems almost like everyone is backing out of fights when injuries happen.
Others are calling out for a ban on risky activities for the fighters. Jose Aldo backed out of the main event at UFC 153 because of a nagging injury from a recent motorcycle accident. Taking a look back at Frank Mir’s motorcycle accident, this caused the UFC heavyweight title to be put on hold for a year. Major injuries from risky activities can play a huge part for the UFC as a business, and it is beginning to show that sort of clause needs to be in effect in the fighter contracts.
Whether you believe Anderson Silva versus Stephan Bonnar is crazy or not, the one thing the fans can say is that the event was saved. With UFC 151 fresh in our minds, no one needs to see another event cancelled. As the UFC continues to add fights to save this card and make it look presentable, it still comes down to how injuries are beginning to look like the plague. Everyone is catching it, and the fighters, fans and Zuffa are suffering for it. There may not yet be a solution to this whole thing, but without a doubt the UFC needs to evaluate the situation. Otherwise, who knows what may be the next event that suffers UFC 151’s fate.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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