Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC 153 Post-Fight Analysis

Here are my rapid-fire, knee-jerk thoughts about the just concluded UFC 153:

-Physical size as a factor in a fight is very overrated. I don’t know how many people bought into the idea that Stephan Bonnar was a serious threat against Anderson Silva because of his size, but Silva showed why it’s almost a non-factor most of the time. If Silva fought a heavyweight next, how many heavyweights would seriously have a decent chance of winning against him? I’ll give you the elites – Dos Santos, Velasquez, Cormier, and Overeem – but after that, I’d strongly favor Silva. Technique is what matters.

Dave Herman is just plain weird. Forget all his talk about jiu-jitsu. What was he doing in the second round, when he left his right arm fully extended, and not attacking? By keeping his hands away from his chin, and lifting his chin in the air every time Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira attacked him, Herman was begging to be hurt. Nogueira did just that on multiple occasions, and followed up by shattering Herman’s trash talk with an armbar. Dana White has spoken repeatedly about how he likes “serious” guys. I didn’t think Herman was in danger of being cut from the UFC because he took this fight on short notice, but now, I’m not so sure.

-Two UFC fights, and two annihilations by Glover Teixeira. This time, he badly hurt Fabio Maldonado early, and just kept pouring it on. I personally had the fight scored 20-15 through two rounds, and I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. Maldonado is amazingly tough, but when I think of this fight, Maldonado reminds me of Danny Downes – a fighter who got clobbered non-stop, and somehow kept fighting through it. When the best thing one can say about a fighter is that he can take a lot of punishment, it’s not a good thing. Teixeira is the real deal, and hopefully we’ll get to see him against a top 10 opponent next time.

-You’re probably expecting me to say “I told you so” about Erick Silva. I’ll be honest – it’s hard not to. But instead, what I’ll do is give Silva some praise. Jon Fitch had a very hard time keeping Silva down in the first two rounds, got hit hard a couple times, and was in serious danger of being submitted in the second round. Silva’s cardio is a problem, and it will likely always be a problem, but he’s going to be a very dangerous opponent for any UFC welterweight in the first 8-10 minutes of a fight. The man is very talented. As for Fitch… all I can say is that I hope he finally gets some respect from the fans after putting on a great fight.

-As expected, Phil Davis was far too much for Wagner Prado. Davis beat Prado the same way he’s beaten almost all his opponents – by dominating them with wrestling and grappling. There were way too many people siding with Prado based on the very short fight he had against Davis two months ago. It’s one thing to get behind a fighter after a spectacular 90-second victory; it’s another to get behind a fighter after 90 seconds of just landing a few strikes.

Demian Maia looked fantastic against Rick Story, winning by submission for the first time in a long time. When Maia is focused on imposing his jiu-jitsu on his opponents, he’s an elite fighter and extremely hard to beat. When he decides to engage in a boxing match, he struggles. There are not many welterweights who will be able to stop Maia as long as he fights like he did tonight.

-The UFC needs to stop using significant strike data on their broadcasts. For a long time, I tried to use significant strike data for meaningful analysis, and I’ve pretty much given up on it. There are two fundamental problems with it. One is that strikes are divided into “significant” and “not significant” only, and there’s no way to separate those without making it a judgment call. The other is that not all significant strikes are created equal – Stephan Bonnar may have landed some significant strikes on Anderson Silva, but none were nearly as significant as Silva’s knee that ended the fight. Like it or not, determining the performance of a fighter needs to be based on subjectivity, and can’t be done with statistics. And that’s coming from a statistics nerd.

-Maybe I should confine my analysis and predictions to main card fights only. I seem to do a much better job with those than with preliminary fights…


  • Anderson Silva – 3420
  • Jon Fitch – 2888
  • Demian Maia – 2842
  • Phil Davis – 2731
  • Gleison Tibau – 2712
  • Glover Teixeira – 2675
  • Stephan Bonnar – 2614
  • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – 2579
  • Chris Camozzi – 2576
  • Erick Silva – 2557
  • Rick Story – 2486
  • Rony Mariano Bezerra – 2439
  • Francisco Trinaldo – 2412
  • Cristiano Marcello – 2305
  • Diego Brandao – 2277
  • Reza Madadi – 2247
  • Luiz Cane – 2197
  • Dave Herman – 2151
  • Fabio Maldonado – 2145
  • Sam Sicilia – 2131
  • Sergio Moraes – 2110
  • Wagner Prado – 2047
  • Joey Gambino – 2010
  • Renee Forte – 1844

One response to “UFC 153 Post-Fight Analysis

  1. Howard morton October 14, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Anderson Silva’s last 4 opponents had a combined 30-something losses coming into their fight against him. Fedor is still the GOAT in my opinion.

    Trinaldo should have finished Tibau, just bad technique on that head and arm side choke.

    Teixera versus Gustaffson/ Rua winner?

    Fitch versus Maia?

    Fit h versus

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