LOS ANGELES, CA – On this week’s “UFC Tonight,” we preview this weekend’s UFC 153: SILVA VS. BONNAR, headlined by Anderson Silva versus Stephan Bonnar. “UFC Tonight” Analyst Kenny Florian breaks down how Bonnar can beat “The Spider.” Plus, we’ll have an injury update on Travis Browne after his loss at UFC ON FX 5. In addition, the guys welcome the newest member, Leeann Tweeden, as the show’s social media host.
Quote of the Week: “UFC Tonight” Analyst Kenny Florian on Stephan Bonnar as the underdog: “This is a David versus Goliath situation, Rocky story, Cinderella story. He is going against the greatest of all time. This is a guy you don’t want to strike with, but Bonnar has the opportunity to make the greatest upset in UFC history. This is going to be an excellent fight.”
Florian on what Stephan Bonnar needs to do against Anderson Silva: “There’s no doubt that Stephan Bonnar is a huge underdog, but he is also a huge 205 pounder and he really has to use his weight against Anderson Silva. He cannot go forward like he typically does because it will be devastating for him. He will get knocked out like his friend Forrest Griffin. Bonnar has to be able to counter. He has to wait for Anderson to go first and he has to counter immediately with combinations. As soon as Silva is done with his combinations, he has to return fire. If there is a weakness with Silva, it is in his ground game. Bonnar can use his size advantage in his ground and pound. Stephan is very good on the ground; he is a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. At 205, he can really cause a lot of problems for the champion Anderson Silva.”
Florian on Anderson Silva’s advantages: “He has a couple of advantages. He is taking the fight on short notice, but he doesn’t have to cut weight. He is a bigger 185, but will not have to cut down to be at 205, which is going to give him a lot of energy. That has never been a problem for Anderson because he carries his weight in his strikes. He won’t have to travel. He is fighting in his home country. The fans are behind him. There are a lot of things working in his advantage.”
Florian on if he believes Minotauro “Big Nog” Nogueira can return to form after losing his last fight: “Yeah I do, assuming he is healthy. This is actually going to be a very tough matchup for Dave Herman. The guy is such a technical striker. Dave Herman is going to be a big underdog against Minotauro.”
Florian on Nogueira’s psyche going against Herman after his injury in his last fight: “It would really play into the psyche of Big Nog if he was facing another submission artist, but Herman is not a submission artist. It comes down to seeing if he is ok to go out there and perform like he usually does.”
Florian on Glover Teixeira in UFC 153: “Teixeira is a guy who starts so quickly and the bad news for Maldonado is that he doesn’t start quickly, he needs two to three minutes to get started. Teixeira can not only strike guys and knock them out; he can also take them down.”
Florian on fighters passing up fights against Teixeira: “Well, a lot of people don’t know who Teixeira is. This is a guy who still is getting his feet wet in the UFC and that is the huge risk about taking a fight with him. Beating him doesn’t really do too much, but losing to him brings you down in the division.”
Florian on what fight he is looking forward to at UFC 153: “The Jon Fitch versus Erick Silva fight - that is going to be amazing. You have two of the best welterweights in the world.”
“UFC Tonight” Insider Ariel Helwani on if Glover Teixeira is upset about the changes with his opponents at UFC 153: “To be honest, he doesn’t appear to be all that upset about the switch. I spoke to his longtime trainer John Hackleman and he says that Glover is like a kid in a candy store training for this fight. He is so excited to be training in his home county of Brazil. He is just really excited to be in the UFC after many years of being outside the organization. Many people have been putting him on the fast track to the championship, but I asked his trainer and he said that he thinks Glover is three left hooks away from the title shot. I asked if he meant in the same fight and he said no. So while we may be fast tracking him, Glover’s team wants to take their time on him.”
Helwani on Travis Browne’s injury: “He is doing okay. He just met with doctor on Monday and had an MRI. The good news is he doesn’t need surgery, but he needs to be on the sidelines for two to four months and he is obviously a little disappointed and rightfully so. But, he said he can’t wait to come back and to prove to everyone that he lost to Antonio Silva due to injury and not because he couldn’t hang with the likes of Bigfoot.”
Florian on if Jon Jones needs to fight twice more at 205 to be the greatest light heavyweight of all time: “You know he does not need to fight two more times. He’s the greatest light heavyweight champion of all time. He has dominated the 205 division at its peak. He is dominating everyone and he has done it in such a short amount of time. He is making it look easy. The skill he showing out there is incredible. He is the best.”
Florian on if Stefan Struve and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva should fight to be the number-one contender in the heavyweight division: “Stefan Struve and Antonio Silva should fight, but not for the number-one contender spot. There are other guys like Alistair Overeem, for me, he could be the number-one contender. We also have Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson going at it later.”
Florian on if the UFC should regulate dangerous activity for fighters: “Yeah, you know, I think it’s fair. You see it in other sports. If you want to fight or make money, stay away from dangerous activity. Don’t ride a motorcycle. Stay safe, stick to fighting.”
Florian on if Dan Henderson is a 2-to-1 underdog against Lyoto Machida: “Yeah he should be an underdog because style wise Machida has great footwork and the way he matches up, he should be the favorite. I don’t know about 2-to-1, but if that fight happens, Lyoto should be the favorite.”
Helwani on Pat Barry changing gyms: “Pat is in a bit of a weird spot right now. He moved from Milwaukee and left Roufus Sport to go to Minneapolis to train with the heavyweights in Team Death Clutch. But when Brock Lesnar retired, the future of the gym was in limbo, but Pat kept going. Then Cole Konrad retired and Team Death Clutch ended too. So, he has since decided to team up with Greg Nelson’s Martial Arts Academy.
Barry on his disappointment of the closing of Team Death Clutch: “I was in Milwaukee for three years and I up and left to train with a team of nothing but big guys. Now they are all gone, so once again I am the only big guy in the gym.”
Helwani on Shane Roller’s retirement: “Shane Roller was released from the UFC for his loss [at UFC on FX 5] and he then decided to retire. He didn’t want to go back to the regional circuit and have to work his way back into the UFC. He just didn’t have it in him. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do now, but it will probably be in the wrestling world.”
Florian’s predictions for Fitch vs. Silva: “I have to go with Erick Silva; he is just a different level of athlete. Anyone who beats Jon Fitch elevates them big time.”
Florian’s predictions for Teixeira vs. Maldonado: “Glover gets this done in the first round. His striking is on a different level. His ground game is unbelievable. He’s got this.”
Florian’s predictions on Big Nog vs. Herman: “Big Nog, assuming he is healthy, should have no problem against Herman. I am very excited to see him healthy. This is a guy who was a bigger superstar than Anderson Silva. I am excited for him to be back.”
Florian’s predictions on Silva vs. Bonnar: “I would love to see Bonnar pull it off, but he is facing a guy – in Silva – who is the greatest of all time with a long reach and you don’t want to strike with him for too long. It could be a long or short night for Stephan, but Silva is going to get it done. Stephan has not been a game plan type of guy, he just goes in and fights and that is really going to help him because you can’t go in with a game plan against Silva.”
“UFC Tonight” is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The show is co-hosted by veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian and Todd Harris. Two-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani adds insider news.
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