Stephan Bonnar Turned Down Glover Teixeira Before Accepting Anderson Silva

UFC light heavyweight fan favourite, Stephan Bonnar speaks ahead of his showdown with 185 pound champion, Anderson Silva at UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 13th, letting us in on some behind the scenes information that he actually turned down a fight with Glover Teixeira only to fall into the hands on the baddest man on the planet.

Bonnar, speaking via MMAJunkie, said:

“It’s just amazing how overnight I go from my phone never ringing to the coolest guy around. My manager hit me up and asked how I feel about fighting Glover Teixeira and I said, ‘You know my rule. If I’m going to do this again, he’s got to have more Twitter followers than me.’ I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. That’s how I feel. That’s a measure of someone’s popularity, and I just want a bigger name. The last three opponents, I’ve had more Twitter followers than them, and I’ve beat them, and I feel like I deserve a bigger name now. I really don’t have an interest in fighting an up-and-comer type, guys who are climbing their way up and people don’t really know how good they are. I’ve done that a lot in my career.”

“I got another text from (my manager) asking how I’d feel about fighting Anderson, and I laughed. Like, ‘Yeah. Good luck trying to pull that one off.’ Of course I’d fight Anderson – 2.5 million Twitter followers? Geez. Like this will ever happen.’ … By Thursday night, it was everywhere, and I couldn’t believe it. I played a little phone tag Friday and got ahold of (UFC President Dana White), and lo and behold, it was true. I think it really set in (Sunday) that I’m fighting Anderson Silva. I’m still a little bewildered.”

“There isn’t (anything bigger). He’s the best guy on everyone’s pound-for-pound list, he’s got 15 straight UFC victories, been a champion for six years or so. It’s great, though, because I feel like I have nothing to lose. Fighting Anderson in his backyard, I’m a record-setting underdog. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

“I was thinking about it; if I win this fight, how am I ever going to top that? It’s been hard enough trying to top the (first) Forrest fight all these years. Then if I freaking beat Anderson Silva, talk about a perfect storybook ending to a career. Then on the other side, if I beat Anderson Silva, then voila – I could probably get that coaching gig with Forrest, I could probably get a new contract and get paid a lot of money to fight. It’s an interesting dilemma, but one that I’m pretty thankful to be close to having – or just have the opportunity to have.”

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