The UFC makes its return to the holyland of mixed martial arts on Saturday night: Brazil. Though it's not as symbolic as when the company returned there last August for the first time since 1998, anytime the UFC sets up shot on Brazilian soil it's always a sight to see, as the fans create a soccer athmosphere and go berserk for Brazilian fighters, waving yellow and green and shouting chants.
UFC 153 was the event that almost wasn't, as American challanger Eric Koch dropped out of his title fight with Brazilian champion Jose Aldo, who was then slated to face dropping-down ex-Lightweight champ Frankie Edgar before Aldo was forced out of the bout due to injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Confused yet?
All was not lost, however, as Middleweight champion Anderson Silva rushed in to save the day by taking a fight on his home soil against Light Heavyweight brawler Stephan Bonnar in a non-title fight. Silva, sometimes perceived as irascible and pompous, cemented himself as a 'company man' with this decision, as did his counterpart Bonnar, who came out of retirement to face the most dangerous striker in the world.
Bonnar, nicknamed "The American Psycho," is most famous for his superhuman abilities to absorb punishment, a faculty he'll desperately need to put to use against "The Spider," who employs a wide variety of deadly strikes and submissions.
Besides the evening's main event, UFC 153 has a phenomanal main card, featuring MMA legends (Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueria), rising Brazilian stars (Erick Silva and Glover Teixeira), and game contenders like Rick Story, Demian Maia, Jon Fitch, and Phil Davis.