Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stephan Bonnar Wanted a Big Name. He Got One in UFC Champion Anderson Silva

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stephan Bonnar Wanted a Big Name. He Got One in UFC Champion Anderson Silva

Article excerpt

Bonnar rejects odds, says he can beat Silva


RIO DE JANEIRO - On paper, popular light-heavyweight Stephan (American Psycho) Bonnar has little to no chance of beating middleweight champion Anderson (The Spider) Silva in the main event of UFC 153.

But the 35-year-old Bonnar believes the stars may be aligning in his favour as he looks to pull off the monumental upset over Silva, who is moving up a weight class to fight at 205 pounds.

"I'm a little superstitious, and it's on the 13th," Bonnar told a news conference Thursday. "There is a lot of stuff with the number 13 going on, and that's a sign for me, for one. I've got a kid coming, and that to me means I need to do something spectacular. And three, I feel like I'm in a 'Rocky' movie.

"I'm this huge underdog in his backyard."

The bookies have Silva, seen as the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter on the planet, as a 10-1 to 12-1 favourite.

Bonnar (17-7 including 8-6 in the UFC) and Silva (30-4, 15-0 in the UFC) meet in Saturday's main event at Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena. The two were booked for the card only after a planned main event between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar was scrapped due to injury.

The six-foot-four Bonnar was semi-retired before the booking, as he was holding out for a fight with one of the sport's biggest names rather than simply looking to stay active in the UFC's 205-pound division.

As it turns out, he landed the biggest name in MMA, and despite the overwhelming odds stacked against him, Bonnar said he realizes what's at stake.

"This is a huge opportunity," Bonnar said. "I'm not a guy that always has the best luck, but once in a while a big opportunity comes along, and I try to take advantage of it."

Meanwhile, the 37-year-old Silva fights in his native Brazil for the first time since a July victory over archrival Chael Sonnen. That fight was expected to take place at a Brazilian soccer stadium before logistical issues forced the event to be moved to Las Vegas. …

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