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Anderson Silva, Stephan Bonnar to meet as UFC 153 is put ‘back on track’

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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On Tuesday, UFC 153 fell apart as Jose Aldo pulled out of the main event fight with Frankie Edgar with an injury just hours after Quinton Jackson pulled out of his bout with Glover Teixeira. Wednesday, the October card in Rio de Janeiro was glued back together with the help of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

As USA Today reported and Yahoo! Sports confirmed with UFC president Dana White, Silva will move up to light heavyweight to fight Stephan Bonnar in the three-round main event. Teixeira will now face fellow Brazilian Fabio Maldonado. Antonio Rodrigio Nogueira was filming a commercial with Silva when the UFC called about the Bonnar fight. He offered to fight and will now face Dave Herman.

The UFC was forced to scramble after injuries threatened another card. UFC 151 was recently canceled when Dan Henderson was injured light heavyweight champion Jon Jones turned down a bout with Chael Sonnen. Jones' refusal to fight caught White's ire so he was pleased to find his other champions would step up when needed.

[Insurance policy isn't to blame for spate of injuries in UFC]

"This is old-school UFC. A card is in jeopardy, but guys that are world champions and superstars stepped up and jumped in and saved the card. This is why the fans love this sport and why we went on a 12-year run without canceling an event."

Bonnar getting the call to fight Silva is a surprise as so many middleweights are clamoring to fight for the belt. His last fight was a decision over Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 139. Bonnar is best known for his bout with Forrest Griffin at the first finale of "The Ultimate Fighter." Their thrilling bout is credited for helping build the UFC into the company it is today.

Since that bout in 2005, his career has been up and down. At 14-7, he doesn't have the resume to earn a title shot, but his willingness to take a fight on short notice and the fact that Silva's belt is not on the line created the perfect storm for Bonnar to get the big fight.

Though he's dominated at middle weight for years, Silva has fought at light heavyweight before. In 2009, he knocked out former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in the first round. He knocked out James Irvin in 1:01 in 2008.

Silva and Nogueira both fought on UFC 134, the first Brazilian card since 1998. They both won by knockout in front of a raucous crowd. It's not surprising to see them both want to take on fights in front of their home crowd again.

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