Guest Writer - Salvatore DeRosalia
When I first saw the lineup for UFC 99 in Germany I thought it was pretty underwhelming. The UFC 98 card had been so amazing, full of knock outs, submissions and well… Loyoto Machida, that I was clearly looking at the 99 card through tainted eyes. For anyone who truly loves the sport of MMA, UFC 99 was a pretty sweet card. Almost all of the televised matches were great fights. This card was full of grueling, technical hard fought match ups and it even had a “catch weight” fight between Rich “Ace” Franklin and Wanderlei “The Ax Murderer” Silva. UFC 99 may not have had tons of the most popular fighters the UFC has to offer but they were quality fights, what I like to call “Fighters Fights.” Here is the recap from UFC 99:
Main Televised Card
Dan Hardy beat Marcus Davis by split decision. These guys talked more trash about each other before the fight then any two fighters I have ever seen and when Dan Hardy went to shake the hand of Marcus Davis at the end of the fight, “The Irish Hand Grenade” wanted nothing to do with Hardy. The fight was close but I agree with the decision of Dan Hardy as the winner. Hardy inflicted copious amounts of damage to Davis and by the end of the fight you could tell who the winner was by the lumps on Davis’s face. Hopefully the UFC will give us a rematch of this war. I think they could play it up and make these guys actually hate each other even more then they already do all the selling more tickets then the first fight.
Spencer Fisher beat Caol Uno by unanimous decision. The Fisher, Uno fight was a very even matchup. I gave the fight to Uno but somehow all three judges gave it to Spencer Fisher. The one thing I think everyone watching the fight can agree on is that the fight was pretty boring, often ending up a clinch against the cage or the guard on the ground. Again, this was a technical battle. Both guys cancelled each others moves out in most of this fight.
Mike Swick stopped Ben Saunders in the second round. Swick vs. Saunders was one of the two fights that did not go the distance in the main televised card. The first round was full of Saunders holding Swick in his guard and the crowd let them both know that was not they paid to see. In the second, Swick was the aggressor and it paid off when he unleashed multiple punches sending Saunders to the mat. Swick continued to attack the downed fighter until the referee stepped in at 3:47 of the second period to stop the fight.
Mirko Cro Cop stopped Mostapha Al Turk in the first round. The inadvertent eye poke of the night goes to Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. This was the second of the two fights that did not go the distance. Both fighters were able to land some good hits in before the fight was called by referee Dan Miragliotta at 3:06 of the first round after the eye poke and subsequent flurry of punches by Cro Cop.
Cain Velasquez beat Cheick Kongo by unanimous decision. This heavy weight battle was about as one sided a fight as you can have. I counted two good punches and a few elbows by Cheick Kongo but they were not enough as Velasquez was able to dominate Kongo on the ground for the majority of the fight. The two Kongo punches hurt Velasquez, buckling his knees both times but Kongo could not follow them up leaving room for Velasquez to mount his attack and putting Kongo on his back over and over again. Cain Velasquez remains undefeated moving to 6-0 and establishes himself as a real threat in the heavy weight division.
Rich Franklin beat Wanderlei Silva by unanimous decision. The main event of the night might have been the best fight of the night too. That pairing does not happen at every UFC event but this fight was the cherry on top of a card that was worth its weight in PPV money. The first 90 seconds of this fight went by without a hit but as soon as the feeling out period was over these two warriors went to battle. Both fighters landed some leather, both were taken down to the ground but it was Franklin who got the better in the first round.
Silva came out ready to fight in the second round and was the clear aggressor. Just when you thought Franklin was about to turn the round around and steal some points, Silva would land another flurry and swing the momentum back his way.
The third round started with both fighters touching gloves. You could tell before, during and after the match that Silva and Franklin had a lot of respect for one another. As quickly as they touched gloves they were back to brawling. Silva spent most of the round in the pocket and stalking Franklin around the Octagon. Franklin would attack and retreat not taking much damage. The end of the fight was a microcosm of the entire match; Silva and Franklin tangled up on their feet, both throwing punches and elbows with all they had left in the tank. Just when you thought that was enough, the greatest part of this fight came in the post fight interviews with Wanderlei Silva stating he believes he won the fight and declaring to the world, but more importantly Dana White, that he wants and deserves a rematch. To be continued…