Anderson Silva: A+
Silva was again spectacular and added another highlight knockout to his legendary resume. Fans complained about the matchup, but Anderson is in the Michael Jordan stage of his career and we should be honored to watch the greatest MMA fighter who ever lived, the same way we were honored to watch the 96’ Bulls put a beat down on the rest of the NBA. Here’s hoping that Silva vs. Jones happens soon.
Minotauro Nogueira: A+
Nogueira had no business beating a younger and stronger Dave Herman-- but he did. ‘Big Nog’ put on a classic performance in his home country of Brazil and looked fantastic in his return from the gruesome arm injury he suffered during his last fight. Nog’s win at UFC 153 would be a perfect way for the legendary fighter to ride off into the sunset and retire. Unfortunately, that probably won’t happen, so expect Nogueira to be fighting a top 10 Heavyweight soon.
Jon Fitch: A
Not many people believed that Jon Fitch would win this fight. The younger and more dynamic Silva was favored heading into the bout, but was largely untested. Fitch put on a clinic and methodically took apart Silva over the course of three rounds. Fitch’s style doesn’t win him many fans, but there is no dying that he is a monster in the 170lb division.
Demian Maia: A
Maia looked great during his first round destruction of Rick Story and moving down to the Welterweight division may have revitalized his career. A match with Jon Fitch makes sense and would be an interesting style matchup.
Glover Teixeira: B+
Teixeira absolutely destroyed Fabio Maldonado during their two-round fight. The jury is still out on whether the hype on Glover is real, but he looked great on Saturday. His title contention will probably be fast tracked since Jon Jones has already beaten most of his Light Heavyweight challengers. Expect Teixeira to get a top 10 fighter during his next outing in the octagon.
Fabio Maldonado: B
Maldonado was completely mauled by Glover Teixeira but kept fighting, and at one point, almost knocked out his opponent with a powerful right hand. He earns a high grade for staying in the fight and showing grit and heart.
Stephan Bonnar: C
Bonnar deserves credit for taking the bout with the greatest MMA fighter alive on only a few weeks notice and ‘brining the fight’ to Silva for the few briefs minutes that the fight actually lasted. This bout was far more about Silva’s greatness than about Bonnar not being a worthy challenger. Stephan is on the verge of retirement, but one last fight against Forrest Griffin, the man with whom he help launch MMA into the main stream, would be a nice farewell.
Erick Silva: C
Silva is a talented fighter and the future of the 170lb division. His striking is deadly and his leg kicks are like lightening, but he is not yet elite. His loss to Fitch may just be the thing he needed to push him into the next level.
Dave Herman: F
Herman fought an arrogant and dumb fight. He had no sense of urgency and simply did not respect Nogueira’s skills and paid for his cockiness by being submitted with an arm bar.