RIO DE JANEIRO — Anderson Silva stopped Stephan Bonnar with a knee to the body with 20 seconds left in the first round Saturday night, winning his 17th consecutive fight in front of his home fans at UFC 153.
Silva (31-4) showed off his usual dominance while stopping Bonnar (17-8) for the first time in the veteran’s career. Silva dared Bonnar to take a shot at him in the early minutes before hurting him with a knee and finishing him with punches on the ground.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira also defeated Dave Herman by armbar submission late in the second round at Rio’s HSBC Arena, and UFC newcomer Glover Teixeira stopped Fabio Maldonado after two rounds for his 17th straight victory.
Silva has been the UFC’s middleweight champion since October 2006, and he defended his title July 7 with a dominant victory in his rematch with Chael Sonnen. But when featherweight champion Jose Aldo and several other fighters dropped off the UFC 153 card because of injuries and schedule changes, Silva volunteered to headline the Rio show on just a few weeks’ notice, even moving up 20 pounds to light heavyweight for the third time in his career.
Bonnar was among the biggest underdogs in UFC history, but gamely tried to engage with Silva before getting finished. Bonnar hadn’t fought since last November, and unofficially considered himself retired.
Silva’s easy move up to 205 pounds prompted many fans to wonder if he was preparing for a shot at light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones, although Silva has discounted the notion.
While the top three Brazilian fighters on the card all dominated, others didn’t do as well. Jon Fitch beat Erick Silva by unanimous decision, and Phil Davis beat Wagner Prado by second-round submission with an anaconda choke.
Nogueira (34-7-1) was impressive in his first fight since his arm was broken by Frank Mir at UFC 140. He dominated Herman (21-5) with Brazilian jiu-jitsu — a discipline that Herman claimed “didn’t work” against him before the fight.
Teixeira (19-2) battered Maldonado with punches from a full mount for most of their two rounds, but Maldonado survived to the horn both times until the cageside physician called it off before the third.