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By Matt Pelkey, MMATorch Columnist Well after a night of cable/internet outage ruined my plans to do a big, full preview for UFC 99, I'm forced to deprive you of my usual brilliant insight. Instead, you'll only be getting snippets of my brilliance. We've got a fantastic 12 fight card in store for us Saturday. Let's get right to it.
Rick Story vs. John Hathaway
This should come down to experience. Hathaway has fought in the Octagon before; Story hasn't. Look for Hathaway to outwork Story and put him on his back, where he won't be comfortable.
Prediction: Hathaway by TKO in round 2
Paul Kelly vs. Roli Delgado
Delgado is scrappy, but he'll be way over-matched here. Shouldn't take long for Kelly to pound him out.
Prediction: Kelly by TKO in round 1
Peter Sobatta vs. Paul Taylor
Sobatta will have the home crowd on his side, but also the pressure that comes with it. How he handles that pressure could decide the outcome. Taylor should be the better fighter here, though.
Prediction: Taylor by TKO in round 2
Stefan Struve vs. Denis Stojnic
This one should be fun to watch if for no other reason than to see the size difference between the two. Its also our best chance to see a submission. I'm taking the lanky limbs of Struve here.
Prediction: Struve by submission in round 1
Dale Hartt vs. Dennis Siver
Hartt wants to punch a hole in Siver's face, but Siver is the better striker. He'll also have the crowd behind him and won't have the pressure of this being his UFC debut. Siver evens his record in the Octagon.
Prediction: Siver by TKO in round 2
Terry Etim vs. Justin Buchholz
This is the prelim I'm most hoping makes the broadcast. Etim's progression has been fun to watch, and I think it continues here. Buchholz will make the mistake of obliging Etim in a stand-up war, and that will be his undoing. Hopefully Etim can make a main card next time out.
Prediction: Etim by TKO in round 1
Mirko Filipovic vs. Mustapha Al-Turk
I've been saying for weeks that we're unlikely to see the return of the Cro Cop of old. He shouldn't have much trouble with a middling heavyweight like Al-Turk, but don't expect it to be much more impressive than his UFC debut against Eddie Sanchez.
Prediction: Filipovic by TKO in round 2
Marcus Davis vs. Dan Hardy
You've gotta give Dan Hardy some credit. He went from an unknown in the welterweight division to a featured fight on a pay-per-view just by running his mouth at the right person. His mistake, however, was pissing off Marcus Davis, a fighter who's better than him in all aspects. Expect this to be a much more action-packed grudge match than Hughes-Serra.
Prediction: Davis by TKO in round 2
Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders
My personal pick for Fight of the Night. Swick's only loss came against Yushin Okami in a fight where he was bullied around and broken mentally by the third round. Saunders has the size and style to do the same, only with strikes and clinch work as opposed to wrestling.
Prediction: Saunders by TKO in round 2
Spencer Fisher vs. Caol Uno
Uno could've hoped for an easier opponent in his return to the UFC after a six year hiatus. Fisher has the game to pound out Uno like several others have before him. Uno's only hope is to get this on the ground and keep it there. The first part is doable; the second will be much more difficult. Fisher will eventually land a fight ending combo.
Prediction: Fisher by TKO in round 2
Cain Velasquez vs. Cheick Kongo
Everyone seems to think Kongo has the edge on the feet, but I'm not so sure. I think Velasquez has the edge in every area. This will be the true announcement of Velasquez as a top contender in the heavyweight division.
Prediction: Velasquez by TKO in round 2
Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva
A battle of two legends passing each other in the night. Both are great strikers in completely different ways. Look for Franklin to use his reach and composure to frustrate Silva before landing a fight ending blow as Silva presses forward once too often.
Prediction: Franklin by TKO in round 2
That's right folks, I have 9 of the 12 fights ending by TKO in the second round. How about some bets?
$300 on Franklin
$300 on Saunders
$300 on Hathaway
$100 on Sobatta
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