Just a day after being hit by two major injuries, the UFC 153 card planned for Rio has bounced back with not two but three huge new fights.
Already 2-0 in the UFC at light heavyweight, pound for pound king Anderson Silva will head 20 pounds north once more on Saturday, October 13 to meet former Ultimate Fighter finalist Stephan Bonnar in the new three-round main event of UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.The news was broken by USA Today on Wednesday evening.
The bout comes on the heels of the injury to featherweight champion Jose Aldo that forced the postponement of the card’s original headliner pitting Aldo against Frankie Edgar.
The event in Rio de Janeiro also has a new co-main event -- a heavyweight bout between the legendary Minotauro Nogueira and the always-dangerous Dave Herman.
Also at UFC 153, Brazilian bomber Fabio Maldonado will replace Quinton "Rampage" Jackson against countryman Glover Teixeira. The recent retirement of Jorgen Kruth had bumped Maldonado off September 29th's card in Nottingham,
UFC officials confirmed that the main card will now boast six bouts.
Aldo and Rampage Injured, Out of UFC 153 updated September 11Injuries have hit October 13th's UFC 153 card in Rio hard, as UFC president Dana White tweeted Tuesday afternoon that featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who was scheduled to face Frankie Edgar in the main event, was forced off the card due to a foot injury. White also announced that the final fight of "Rampage" Jackson's UFC career will have to wait a little longer, since the former UFC light heavyweight champion was also injured and forced to withdraw from his co-main event bout against Glover Teixeira. More info on replacements for the October 13th card will be posted when it's received.
New Headlining Title Fight for UFC 153 updated August 30
Frankie Edgar’s decision to drop to featherweight has not gone unrewarded, as Edgar will get a long-rumored title shot in his first outing at 145 pounds.
That title shot will come sooner than expected, as Edgar is stepping in to face champion Jose Aldo at UFC 153 in October. Aldo was scheduled to meet KO artist Erik Koch, who has been forced to withdraw from the event due to injury.
"I'm pumped," UFC president Dana White told USA Today. "I think that people are going to be very excited for this fight." (Click for full interview)
"This main event is now not only a world title fight but also a super-fight that has long been a dream match for many fans," said White. "Aldo and Edgar are two fantastic fighters who are always a part of the pound-for-pound debate."
Belfort-Belcher Off, Davis-Prado On for Rio updated August 21The effects of the UFC 151 shakeup have reached Rio, as the long hunt for a new opponent for light heavyweight champion Jon Jones finally ended with Vitor Belfort. Belfort's new assignment means his UFC 153 bout against Alan Belcher is off. As it turns out, the fight would have been cancelled anyway; hours after Belfort was pulled from the card, Belcher announced that he is injured and would have been forced to withdraw.
That leaves room for one more fight, which will be filled by the rematch between Sao Paulo's undefeated light heavyweight Wagner Prado and Phil Davis. Prado's UFC (and US) debut was frustrated in August when an accidental eye poke in the first round forced the bout to be declared a no contest.
UFC 153 Fight Card Now Finalized updated August 21The full UFC 153 fight card has been announced in advance of Thursday's ticket on-sale date.
Heavyweight Gabriel “Napão” Gonzaga, a native Brazilian who now lives and trains in Western Massachusetts, will return to his homeland to welcome knockout artist Geronimo “Mondragon” dos Santos to the UFC
TUF Brasil's Francisco "Massaranduba" Trinaldo, who competed on the show at middleweight, returns to his natural weight class of 155 pounds to take on Gleison Tibau, a UFC veteran who will enter the Octagon for the 17th time in October.
Plus Luiz "Banha" Cane will get a second chance to score a UFC win in Rio as he meets TUF 11's Chris Camozzi at middleweight.
Silva, Maia, Brandao Headed Back to Brazil updated July 31Three of Brazil's biggest talents have landed on the UFC 153 fight card in Rio.
One of the top prospects in the welterweight division will get his toughest test to date as Erick "Indio" Silva faces top-five-ranked Jon Fitch. Also at welterweight, BJJ master Demian Maia takes on Rick "The Horror" Story
TUF 14 winner Diego Brandao will meet the once-defeated prospect Joey "The Raging Warrior" Gambino in a featherweight clash between two go-for-broke finishers.
Verbal agreements are in for all of the bouts above.
After winning it all in the first ever Brazilian Ultimate Fighter competition, Rony Jason now takes on the hard-hitting Sam Sicilia in a featherweight bout in his home country on October 13th. "I hope I can please the crowd on the 13th, that is a very special day for me," said Jason. "At the next UFC Rio, you will see Jason the striker and finisher.” Both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout.
TUF Brazil standouts Sergio Moraes and Renee Forte will also fight one another in a welterweight bout at UFC 153.
Aldo vs. Koch Back on the Books for October updated July 18One of the pound-for-pound greats, Jose Aldo, enters the Octagon once more on October 13th in Rio de Janeiro to defend his featherweight crown. Taking on the jiu jitsu black belt/striking wrecking machine will be rising star Erik Koch, a fighter known for finishing opponents in dramatic fashion who's looking to become one of the youngest UFC champions ever.
Both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout, which was originally booked for UFC 149 in July and postponed due to an injury sustained by Aldo.
In a lightweight bout, TUF Live BJJ ace Cristiano Marcello has verbally agreed to meet Sweden's Reza "Mad Dog" Madadi.
TUF Brazil Winners Take Next Step at UFC 153 updated July 17Wednesday at the Instituto Reacao in Rocinha, the first winners of The Ultimate Fighter </a>Brazil, Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira and Rony Jason, participated in the inaugural “UFC Day." It was also announced that both fighters have been invited to compete in their first post-TUF bouts at UFC 153 on October 13th.
Ferreira said he hoped to compete pending medical clearance; Jason accepted immediately. Opponents for Ferreira, TUF Brazil's middleweight winner, and Jason, the reality series' featherweight winner, along with site and ticket information, will be announced shortly.
Rampage Bound for Brazil for Next Fight updated July 9Fresh off his impressive UFC debut win over Kyle Kingsbury, explosive light heavyweight Glover Teixeira will next take on former champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 153, just announced for October 13th in Brazil.
City, venue, and ticket on-sale details will be announced in the coming weeks on ufc.com.