UFC 153: SILVA vs BONNAR – Sunday October 14,2012

UFC 153 card shuffle and Silva-Bonnar booking was bittersweet moment for UFC

UFC 153 has highlighted both the lowest of lows and the highest of highs for UFC President Dana White.

The event, which takes place next month in Brazil, was the latest major show in which injuries decimated the top fights.

White said the injury bug has become the organization’s Achilles’ heel, but when UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva stepped up to take the headlining spot, White remembered why he loves the sport.

UFC 153 takes place Oct. 13 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The pay-per-view co-headliners initially were slated to be UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira. Former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar ultimately replaced Koch – arguably giving the card more star power.

But on Sept. 11, Jackson was forced out of the co-headliner with an injury, and then Aldo also was forced off the card due to injury.

“It was terrible,” White said. “It was the worst day of my life. We’ve gone through rough periods with injuries. It’s crazy. The Achilles’ heel we have now are the injuries.”

The card, though, was saved 24 hours later when Fabio Maldonado (18-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) stepped in to fight Teixeira (18-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) – and Silva (32-4 MMA, 15-0 UFC), a Brazilian fighter and the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter, agreed to move up a weight class for a non-title fight with light heavyweight Stephan Bonnar (14-7 MMA, 8-6 UFC).

White said the fact the organization was able to salvage the card reminded him why he loves what he does.

“The fights that we’re making kill it, and the events are off the charts,” he said. “But when [a fight] falls off and you have to scramble to fix it … the fact we’re still having a show, the fact the greatest fighter of all time steps up and takes the main event spot, it’s the thing that makes me continue to love this sport.”