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By: Jason Bent, MMATorch Columnist
Beer. David Hasselhoff. Scheisse films. Sausages.
All things which many Germans love.
Well, after Saturday night you can add MMA, and more specifically the UFC, to this list; and based on the crowd reaction it just may have overtaken Hasselhoff.
Cologne, Germany was the site of UFC 99 and needless to say but the natives were beyond restless for this event to begin as tickets sold at a feverish pace and the countdown began. Today was the day for the UFC to bring their brand of MMA to Germany, and I would have to say that they did not disappoint. Judging by the size of the beers consumed by the fans in attendance it would seem to me that they could have shown 'Ultimate Knockouts 1' on the big screen and the entire top half of the arena would have cheered themselves hoarse while unaware; but beer or no beer, this one was top notch from start to finish.
Many fans were hedging on whether or not to buy this PPV considering how soon it has been since UFC 98 and with UFC 100 banging loudly on the door, but those who bought it are sure to have been pleased with their decision. No belts were on the line, and no one was really fighting to become a true number one contender, but this lineup was packed with fan friendly fights and many exciting match ups. The PPV broadcast clocked in at just shy of three full hours and not one single preliminary fight made air. Although this is skewed by the fact we had a six fight card rather than the traditional five fight one, but there were plenty of rounds and tons of action tonight from the UFC. The last time an American contingent traveled to Germany and brought some fights was when Clark Griswold and his family got into a fight at a dance festival. There were plenty of fights tonight, and instead of the Germans hoping Clark Griswold would go away, it will be the fans begging for these Americans and the UFC to come back as soon as possible.
Marcus Davis vs. Dan Hardy
Our first bout of the evening was also one of the most hyped and compelling on the card, as it was predicted to be a stand up war between two men with a burning hatred for the other. While we did get an excellent fight, it was not exactly the standing on a dime sort of slugfest as I and many others had predicted it to be. Marcus Davis is not a top UFC fighter. He is, however, one of the toughest, and to get past him says a hell of a lot about Dan Hardy. Does this mean Hardy is suddenly a contender? Not by any means, but he has certainly earned the right to try to find out, and I for one am looking forward to seeing him back in the Octagon very soon.
Davis missed with leg kicks to start and followed this by throwing a left hand and shooting for the takedown. The two men clinch and it is Hardy working his knees while Davis connects to the body. Hardy is finally to the ground and Davis quickly gets the mount. Davis landed a few punches before Hardy improved from the mount all the way to full guard. Davis quickly passed this and took Hardy's back again. Davis used his left leg to control the body of Hardy and began to wing punches at his opponent. Both men would then take the fight back to the feet and were engaged in a clinch against the cage. A huge and thudding elbow connected for Hardy to the skull of Davis and this was followed with a powerful right hand. Davis was clearly rocked and it appeared that he was bleeding from somewhere near his hairline. The two men would clinch once more and the round was over.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Dan Hardy-
A left leg kick by Davis started the round off and this was answered by an inside leg kick from Hardy. Davis lunged forward and was caught by two hard left hands. The two began to momentarily trade before a big knee from Hardy drops Davis. Hardy would follow and position himself in the full guard of a recovering Davis. Davis lands an elbow before the referee stand them up for inactivity. A body kick from Davis connects but is answered by a nice right hand from Hardy. Davis connected with a left hand and scored a takedown before grinding out the final seconds of the round.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Marcus Davis-
This round began and both fighters looked as if they both understood that this round would win or lose the fight for them. Marcus Davis dropped Dan Hardy with a left hand and immediately pounced, ending up in full guard. Hardy was banging with elbows from the bottom, but Davis landed a sharp short elbow and passed to half guard. Davis went for a footlock and it looked as if Hardy were in trouble as this was looking to turn into a heel hook. Hardy was able to escape by spinning out and quickly got to his feet. The two clinched and thanks to his underhooks, it was Hardy taking down Davis. A hard elbow landed for Hardy and opened up a huge gash on the nose of Davis. The referee stops the fight momentarily in order for the Doctor to examine Davis' cut. No problems found and the fight was under way once more. Hammerfists connected for Hardy and then the referee chose to stand them back up due to inactivity. Hardy connects with a left hook and Davis returns fire with a straight left hand. Hardy would land another left hook as Davis shot in for the takedown and this fight came to an end.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Dan Hardy-
Bent Scores The Fight: 29-28 for Dan Hardy
Official Scores are 29-28 Hardy, 29-28 Davis and 29-28 Hardy
Winner is Dan Hardy by Split Decision
This was a fun fight and I am just glad that the judges got it right. Hardy vs. Davis was not the stand up Griffin-Bonnar sort of exhibition, but it was indeed a fight. Hard shots from both men, solid takedowns from Davis and equally excellent work on the ground from Hardy. Both men were hurt and both did seemingly enough to win.
"I don't need friends, I need opponents," was what Dan Hardy had to say following this one in terms of how he feels about Davis now. There is indeed a professional respect between the two, but don't look for Hardy and Davis to drink green beer next March. What could be possible next March is that Dan Hardy is a real contender, but for now it would definitely be welcome to see him again soon as he gives it a try. Davis really lost nothing in this fight and is still a game and name opponent to be matched up with someone on a prominent card. I wouldn't mind these two in a rematch, but that is unlikely to happen I would imagine.
Spencer Fisher vs. Caol Uno
The next bout of the evening featured the talented and hard striker Fisher taking on the returning Uno in another of the compelling bouts booked for this evening. Uno of course was one of the original lightweight stars of the UFC as the company began making its way to where it is today, and in Fisher he was facing an opponent who is in a similar role now. Nearly everyone imagined this would go the distance, and it certainly didn't disappoint.
Fisher landed a leg kick but for the early goings of this fight there was more feinting than striking from either man. Uno shot in for the takedown and in a telling moment it was Fisher stuffing the attempt. The two would then be engaged in a clinch against the cage and Fisher would begin landing knees. The crowd began to boo as the two fighters were jockeying for position. Due to this relative inactivity it was the referee stepping in to separate them. Fisher would try to silence the crowd with a wild swing and a miss with a right hand. He followed this with a kick to the leg of Uno. Uno shot in for a takedown after eating a short right hook from his opponent but it was Fisher sprawling and keeping this one standing. More knees from Fisher followed by a huge uppercut that just missed in return from Uno. Caol Uno would fire off a slick looking combination before the end of the opening round.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Spencer Fisher-
Fisher started off the second round with a powerful left hand before Uno would score the single leg takedown. Uno quickly slapped on the makings of a guillotine but Fisher escaped and the fight was back to the feet. Uno again shot for the single leg takedown but a sprawl from Fisher prevented this from being successful. Two whip-like kicks from Uno snapped as they connected on Fisher. Uno successfully took Fisher down and would be in the full guard of his foe. Uno postured up to position for a shot which gave Fisher the chance to push off and stand back up. Two uppercuts connected for Uno before the two began to trade some dirty boxing. Fisher would get the sweep but ended up on his back but Uno was unable to capitalize as Spencer scrambled to his feet. Uno would then drop down and pull guard but it was Fisher taking the advantage by busily throwing and landing knees. Again the fight would return to the feet and this round ended with both fighters in the clinch.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Spencer Fisher-
Picking up right where we left off, it was the two fighters wasting no time at all and getting right back into the clinch. Fisher landed a big knee that definitely caused Uno to wince. Uno would work feverishly for the takedown while Fisher was scrambling the other way and trying to get into a position to walk up the way and stand back up. The two men return to their feet and Fisher uncorks another knee before following up with two hammer fists as Uno hangs onto his right leg. The two men again reached a stalemate and the referee was forced to separate the two and stand them up once more. Uno uncoiled a nice looking leg kick but fell down in the process and Fisher was able to capitalize and soon was enjoying side control. Uno was able to roll his hips in order to get away before standing back up. Fisher rattled off a three punch combination and added even more punishment with a knee to the body. Uno would then score a takedown and nearly had the mount immediately. He would soon get the full mount as he simply exploded for a moment and was doing his best to pound on Fisher. Uno would successfully take the back of Fisher and looked to be trying to work towards a choke just as the round ended.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Caol Uno-
Bent Scores The Fight: 29-28 for Spencer Fisher
Official Scores are not revealed but it is announced as a unanimous decision for Spencer Fisher
Winner is Spencer Fisher by Unanimous Decision
Caol Uno failed in his comeback fight with the UFC but he gave Spencer Fisher all that he could handle. Uno is by no means an old fighter in terms of age, so it would not seem out of reach to imagine him back into the mix at lightweight, and especially so considering his showing tonight. Fisher got the win, and deservedly so, but it was not easy and he earned every bit of this one. In some respect this was a victory of sorts for Uno who shows that the UFC feels like home given his outstanding performance. Fisher moves on to bigger and better things and it will be interesting to see who they match up with Uno for the come backing fighter’s next match in the UFC.
Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders
This bout was one that I was most looking forward to and I could not have been any more wrong with my prediction. I still stand behind my praise for Ben Saunders, but now must admit that this fighter has much work to do and is not quite ready to make his splash just yet. In time it will come, but for now it is Mike Swick who improves his stock and should parlay this victory into a fight of some magnitude in the future. Swick looks good at 170 lbs. and I have to believe that Saunders looked bad tonight due to the fact that Mike Swick has become an even better fighter. This one was predicted to not make it to the scorecards, and thanks to a beautifully fast flurry from Swick, not a single judge was needed to determine the winner.
The two men circled each other to start with both being respectful of the others striking abilities. Saunders grabbed double underhooks and pulled guard on a charging Mike Swick and the fight actually began. Swick was doing little damage but was piling up points and getting his opponent's attention with right hands to the side of his head. Saunders was in a precarious position with his head stuck against the cage but he was doing well to control Swick's posture. Swick began to show frustration and waved to get referee Leon Roberts' attention while telling him that Saunders was just holding on. Microphones picked up an exchange between the fighters as Swick said, "Gonna be f***ing holding me all night?" to which Saunders answered, "stand back up bitch." Swick took this challenge and indeed stood back up, and while he did as Saunders said it must be noted that Swick was not being a bitch. Saunders whipped a few upkicks to try and keep his foe from throwing down punches but this didn't stop Swick from getting back on top of Saunders. Referee Roberts does finally stand the two up and it was Saunders landing a hard kick to the body before Swick came back at him with a knee. A quick flurry from Swick would follow before the two clinched once more. Saunders pulls out a nifty move with a knee to the head of Swick and the two trade some foot stomps as the round ended.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Mike Swick-
Ben Saunders with a leg kick attempt to open up the second round before the two clinched. Swick landed two knees from the clinch before taking Saunders down. Swick had the mount for a matter of seconds before Saunders made great use of his hips to escape and get back to full guard. Saunders maintains control as Swick is able to do no more than land a few punches before the referee stands them up again. A crisp head kick attempt from Saunders is blocked by Swick but he was able to connect on an inside leg kick that surely stung. Swick flurried some punches and caught Saunders with a right hand that staggered him. Swick immediately swarmed and dropped Saunders with a right hand before jumping on and giving the referee no choice but to stop the fight as "Killa B" went limp for a moment.
Winner is Mike Swick by way of TKO (Strikes) at 3:47 of Round 2
Swick climbed over the cage and gave a fist bump to the Fertitta brothers and Dana White before standing on top of the Octagon wall and diving back into the cage. This was a pumped up and happy Mike Swick to say the least.
"I'm 9-1 in the UFC, I want to fight a top guy or fight for the title," said Mike Swick in his post fight interview before praising the toughness of Ben Saunders. Swick has the wonderful cachet of being one of the original stars of 'The Ultimate Fighter,' and that combined with his ability to win fights and finish off opponents should mean he gets to take on someone near the top in his next bout. As for Ben Saunders, it is back to the drawing board for "Killa B," who at least has some knowledge now of what he needs to work on and improve. No fighter is perfect, but few fighters possess the raw tools of Ben Saunders, and once this fighter gets some more seasoning it is going to be interesting to see where he ends up. Perhaps his destruction of Wolff was just that as in his besting a much lesser foe, but he did at least give some trouble to Swick and did not go quietly into the night. Ben will be back but for now it is Swick who has just told the UFC that he has always been here and is planning to staying right there in hopes of getting an eventual title shot.
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Mostapha Al Turk
The comeback continued as the familiar strains of Duran Duran's "Wild Boys" blared from the speakers and Mirko Cro Cop walked down the aisle in order to enter the ring for his bout with Al Turk. Mirko Cro Cop was in need of a win over his opponent, and Al Turk was just the man to step up the challenge and be just an opponent for the PRIDE legend. Cro Cop needed this win and essentially did just what he had to do against an opponent who could do nothing but like it. The comeback continues for now, but I really will have to wait and see what Cro Cop does against a better grade of opponent before declaring if he is really back.
An interesting note on Cro Cop's opponent is that Mostapha al Turk could actually brush the hair on his shoulders. Seriously. Al Turk could carry around a comb as if he were Vinny Barbarino of 'Welcome Back Kotter' and tame things down when the body hair gets out of control. Although part of me wondered if he didn't shave in hopes of having the hair cushion the blow when Cro Cop knocked his head off of his neck and onto his shoulders. Luckily this was not to be and Al Turk had no use for nature’s sweater in this bout. I would definitely shave this but shaving is the least of Al Turk's worries as it is likely he gets cut following this performance. I just can see no need to retain him on the roster with so many other quality heavyweights out there who are much, much better.
Al Turk was the aggressor to start and landed a hard right hand while Cro Cop was content to work behind the jab. A snapping leg kick by Cro Cop would get the attention of Al Turk who responded by swinging wildly and missing with each shot. A left hand lands for Cro Cop before he follows this up with two thudding jabs. Al Turk throws a wild right hand that originated somewhere in the upper deck and misses which gives Cro Cop the chance to finally open up. Cro Cop would land two three punch combos and Al Turk was knocked to the ground. Cro Cop opts to let him return to his feet before lighting up his foe once more with seemingly more power behind each subsequent shot. By this point, referee Dan Miragliotta had seen enough and waved off the fight.
Winner is Mirko Cro Cop by way of TKO (Strikes) at 3:06 of Round 1
What was not known at the time it happened was that Cro Cop inadvertently poked the right eye of Al Turk before finishing this fight. Replays showed that Al Turk grabbed for his eye and turned away which when it happened was taken as him covering up due to being hurt from the blows. Yes, he was hurt from the blows, but he stopped defending himself for a moment due to the eye poke, and this takes nothing away from Cro Cop's victory but is at least partly responsible for the fight ending when it did. Perhaps it would have ended twelve seconds later anyhow so it is not as if this tarnishes Cro Cop's win.
"I feel good and am satisfied with my performance" was what Cro Cop had to say when Joe Rogan asked how he felt about this fight. Cro Cop would then apologize for the eye poke but quickly added that it "wasn't the thing that made the difference in the fight" and he is absolutely correct. Cro Cop did what he had to do against an opponent who is little more than a heavy bag which can grabble. Correction, a hairy, heavy bag which can grapple, although shaving anything should be the furthest thing from his mind as he is likely to be cut following this performance. Nothing against Al Turk as he did give it his best and seems to be a serviceable heavyweight but there exists too much talent in need of opportunities to merit keeping Al Turk right now.
Cain Velasquez vs. Cheick Kongo
Our co-main event of the evening was originally scheduled to be a solid heavyweight bout, but thanks to Kongo stepping in for an ill Heath Herring, it became a more significant one. Cheick Kongo has recently been on a tear of sorts and has looked to be a new version of himself, but he would be made to look like possibly never before by the young, upstart in Velasquez. This one went the distance, and Kongo deserves credit for simply taking this fight since he really was not forced to do so, but this one was as one-sided as they come. Kongo found himself nearly dominated in the same fashion as was Heath Herring in his bout with Brock Lesnar from UFC 87. The one thing we learned in this one is that Kongo could rock Velasquez with punches, but even more important was learning that Velasquez is a skilled enough wrestler to where this didn't put him in any danger. Velasquez is the real deal and should be poised for a title shot in the next year if not sooner.
Kongo landed the jab to start things off and then looked like he could end this one early as he absolutely rocked Velasquez with a stiff right hand. Velasquez was able to shoot for the takedown and was successful in doing so as he needed a moment to compose himself and clear the cobwebs. Kongo scrambled to his feet but was unsuccessful and Velasquez began peppering him with hammer fists before gaining side control. Kongo landed an elbow but it was Velasquez taking his back and sinking in a choke momentarily. Kongo was able to get back up to his feet but Velasquez took him right back down. Velasquez went from side control to the full mount once more as again it was Kongo giving up his back. Velasquez began putting some mustard on these punches and Kongo to his credit was absorbing some really hard shots. Kongo scrambled to his feet with his opponent all over him before being picked up and unceremoniously slammed back down to the mat. Velasquez took his back again and landed a vicious elbow. Kongo thoroughly getting dominated at this point but was at least able to return to his feet and land a knee as the round ended.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Cain Velasquez-
Cain Velasquez landed two right hands in the early stage of round two before he was visibly rocked by one from Cheick Kongo. Velasquez was able to clinch before taking Kongo down and would then take his opponent's back once more while recovering from the blow. Velasquez was raining down hammer fist after hammer fist. Velasquez briefly flattened Kongo out and continued to hammer away. Velasquez continued to land and connected on some solid right hands as Kongo fought his way to a standing position. Velasquez took him back down and began punishing Kongo's body with some brutalizing knees. Cain Velasquez continued his display of "ground and pound" and would continue doling out the punishment until the round ended.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Cain Velasquez-
Kongo opened the third round by landing two right hands but again Velasquez was able to clinch and regain his composure. Kongo stuffed the takedown attempt but Velasquez was able to take his back anyway and hammered away. Cheick Kongo landed a solid elbow to the body of his foe and at least looked like he understood the urgency with being down by two rounds on the cards. Kongo scrambled to his feet and would land a huge knee to the body before throttling Velasquez once more with the clubbing right hand. Velasquez quickly takes Kongo down and is able to get his bearings while passing from side control to the full mount once more. The strikes would continue to rain down on Kongo and the elbows and hammer fists would not stop until this round and fight were over.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Cain Velasquez-
Bent Scores The Fight: 30-27 for Cain Velasquez (could even make argument for 30-26)
Official Scores are not revealed but it is announced as a unanimous decision for Cain Velasquez
Winner is Cain Velasquez by Unanimous Decision
Well, did we learn anything today kids? Is Cain Velasquez for real? He most definitely is, but he also showed that his chin is not necessarily the best in the division. Kongo is no joke ,and as such should be able to hurt damned near anyone with those right hands, but when he landed against Velasquez, the shots hurt Velasquez. Cain's wrestling ability allowed him the time needed in order to recover and once Kongo was on the ground it was a walk in the park for the undefeated prospect. For now, I am not sure who is really the best prospect between Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez. I think Carwin is the stronger of the two, and also the harder puncher, but you have to give much credit to the wrestling ability of Velasquez. I know it is likely to not happen anytime soon, but I wouldn't mind seeing Carwin vs. Velasquez on a card. As for Kongo, he moves back into the spot of dangerous, top name opponent and further away from a title shot.
Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva
It was now time for the main event, and I was especially excited to see how both of these men would fare against the other. Obviously this was a catch weight bout and the 195 lb. weight limit would favor Franklin more than tell us anything about Silva's prospects at middleweight, but this was still just two great fighters going against the other. It is also kind of amusing to me when Strikeforce was chided for their catch weight main event between two fighters, and here the UFC does just the same in the main event of UFC 99. If anything, the UFC should be the promotion never having a catch weight bout because they have enough talent at each weight to be able to avoid this. Although, I am not complaining about Silva vs. Franklin, and what we ended up getting was much, much better than anything that was predicted.
A straight left from Franklin opened up the first round before Silva answered with a leg kick. Silva missed with a huge right hand that could have ended the night and Franklin connects with a body kick. Silva was able to counter the body kick with a right hand before uncorking a high head kick which just grazed Franklin. A body kick from Franklin followed before Silva scored the takedown. Wanderlei Silva was landing from the top in full guard and Rich Franklin was quite active from underneath. Franklin scrambles to his feet but the fight immediately hit the ground once more with Franklin in Silva's half guard. Franklin would pass and take the mount before taking the back of Silva momentarily but "The Axe Murderer" was able to get this fight back on the feet. Both men would square off in the center of the Octagon as this first round came to an end.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Rich Franklin-
Both men circled the other to start the second round and a visibly tired Silva was landing a few of his punches. Franklin was the much faster of the two and connected on an inside leg kick before adding to this with two hard right hands. A body kick lands for Franklin who would then knock an off balance Silva down with a stiff jab. Silva immediately returned to his feet and fired off another attempt at a head kick. Silva would miss with another huge right hand while Franklin was able to connect with the left hand he threw in return. Franklin's jab again pushes Silva back before "Ace" would again land another body kick. The complexion of this round changed as Wanderlei Silva landed a right hand which hurt Rich Franklin. Franklin was able to recollect his thoughts rather quickly and fired off a high kick attempt towards the head of Silva. Both men would then trade wildly to end what was an exciting second round.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Rich Franklin-
A touch of gloves started off the third round of a bout that I wished could have been a five round affair. Head kick attempt missed for Silva before Franklin connected with two right hands and a left.. Franklin was working well behind a solid jab all night long and once again misted the eyes of Silva with a stinging one. Wanderlei Silva began to stalk Rich Franklin but a kick to his cup halted his momentum and stopped the fight. Silva shook it off and took no time to recoup at all and was right back in there. This by itself was amazing because most fighters would take advantage of the time to rest under the guise of recovering from a blow. Admittedly it wasn't the hardest shot, but a kick to the groin isn't exactly a feel good moment when it comes from a two year old, so one can only imagine what it is like from a fighter like Franklin. Silva appeared to have been motivated by the kick to the jimmy and landed not only a solid right hand but a wicked looking knee from the clinch. Franklin was a little more hesitant in this round and Silva continued stalking forward while waving for the crowd to make more noise.
When Wanderlei Silva tells you to cheer, you get off of your ass and cheer!
Franklin was keeping Silva honest by connecting on a body kick and landing the snapping jab once more. Franklin slipped and fell but was immediately up and Silva had no chance to even try and capitalize on the moment. Silva swarms on Franklin and was flurrying but Franklin scored a takedown which may have won him this round on some scorecards. Silva was able to fight his way back to his feet but Franklin was holding onto him. Wanderlei Silva began throwing elbows from the front while Rich Franklin punches from the back and this is how the fight ended.
-Bent's Score: 10-9 for Wanderlei Silva-
Bent Scores The Fight: 29-28 for Rich Franklin
Official Scores are not revealed but it is announced as a unanimous decision for Rich Franklin
Winner is Rich Franklin by Unanimous Decision
Wow, what a main event between two of the most exciting fighters in the UFC! Rich Franklin got the victory here, and it was a deserved one, but it is Wanderlei Silva's stock that rises following this bout. If this is how Silva looks at 195 lbs. it makes perfect sense to think that at 185 lbs. and against a smaller foe than Franklin that he could be dominant once more. Silva hurt Franklin and was never in any real trouble during this bout which was huge considering just how he got dusted at UFC 92 against "Rampage" Jackson.
Franklin showed that he is Franklin, and by this I mean that he is one of the best but again one of the most under the radar superstars this sport has ever seen. Never will anyone tell you they are ordering the "Rich Franklin fight," as it will always depend on his opponent. Franklin should move on from this fight and position himself to possibly get a shot at the light heavyweight title sometime early next year. As for Silva, he should get down to 185 lbs. as quickly as possible and get right back in there. This looked like a new Wanderlei to me and one I can get behind as a true challenger at middleweight. Right now I see no way Wanderlei Silva beats Anderson Silva for the title, but who else in the division has a real chance to do so right now? And which of those would you rather see in the main event than "The Axe Murderer"? Silva vs. Silva has a nice backstory to it and is a very easy fight to sell and one we all would be chomping at the bit to see. Were I Joe Silva and company, I would book this one sooner rather than later and at least get some more return from the Wanderlei Silva investment.
"Wanderlei is a true warrior," said Rich Franklin, who insisted that he will be remaining a light heavyweight but also adding that 195 lbs. would be the ideal weight for him. When Joe Rogan asked if he was ever hurt, Franklin responded by saying, "you see black for a second but it was ok," which shows that not only did Silva clip him but that he also was able to recover quite nicely.
"This is my victory. I fight for my fans" said Wanderlei Silva, who seems to not understand that the winner gets his hand raised, but what he really means is that he simply wants to put on exciting fights for those who pay to see him. No word from Silva on what is next for him but it is a definite that we will see him once more or perhaps a few more times. Again, Franklin won the bout but it is Silva who won over everyone that doubted his abilities following the knockout suffered at the hands of Jackson. This doesn't mean that Silva has his chin back but rather that he looked especially good against a fairly unbeatable top guy in Franklin and that alone is enough to give him hope for the future.
Well, UFC 99: The Comeback was a complete success from start to finish. I remember last fall when it was intimated that the main event of this card was going to be Liddell vs. Couture, and I for one am thankful that never came to fruition. What we ended up getting was a fantastic card penalized only because it had to be the one to take place before UFC 100. Everything pales in comparison to UFC 100. UFC 100 is the Marsha Brady to every other lineup's Jan Brady. Which we of course will get to soon enough, but for now it was nice to stop and savor UFC 99.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
The above line was famously spoken by Ferris Bueller and it certainly applies to the MMA scene right now. Yes, UFC 100 is coming but it will be gone as fast as it arrives so you may as well take a deep breath and look around at everything else which is happening. UFC 99 happened in Cologne, Germany on Saturday and it was a tremendous night of MMA for all of those who went ahead and ordered the PPV. No titles changed hands and no true number one contender was realized in any division but sometimes it isn't always just about that. I guess how Wanderlei Silva earned a moral victory in his bout with Rich Franklin is how I can sum up this card. UFC 100 is for all of the titles and number one contender spots but tonight was just about putting on a great fight and fighting for the fans.
With that, another UFC PPV has come and gone, and now we can begin the build to UFC 100, although no one should forget about 'The Ultimate Fighter Finale' next Saturday night. This is a summer full of MMA, and just like Bueller said, make sure you stop and look around because you could miss something special.
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