Thursday, June 11, 2009

Previewing UFC 99


The next PPV in the UFC Machine is Saturday Night in Germany which represents the first ever UFC show in mainland Europe. Be still my beating heart.

These European shows honestly annoy me a bit, because they start at 2pm (but you can watch the replay at the normal 9pm slot) in the USA, and the cards are never as stacked as the Las Vegas shows. This would be a perfect opportunity for Dana White to offer up a nice free Spike show for the US fan base, but Noooooooooo.

Also, a mainstay of the Europe show appears to be Rich Franklin - who has not had a fight in Vegas since 2006, and has now been on 3 of the Europe cards. He is the main event against Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva, who clearly has the coolest nickname in MMA.

Silva has fought 5 times since the fall of 2006, and has lost 4 of them. Sure, Cro-Cop, Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, and Rampage Jackson are quality opponents, but it is tough to get worked up for a fight where "The Axe Murderer" has 1 win in nearly 33 months.

He fights Franklin, who himself has been beat 3 times since fall of '06, including being dominated twice by Anderson "The Spider" Silva (no relation) and recently lost a decision to Dan Henderson.

Beyond that fight, the highlight of the night is Cain Velasquez versus the scary Cheick Kongo. Velasquez is 5-0 with 5 knockouts, although his level of competition is considered less-than-dynamite. Meanwhile, this will be Kongo's 10th fight in the UFC, and he is 7-2, only losing 2 decisions.

Other than that, Mirko Cro-Cop rejoins the UFC, and fights a tomato can.

Give me Silva over Franklin (I guess) and Velasquez over Kongo. Cro-Cop easily, too. And Mike Swick.

I have to tell you, if I didn't buy every single one of these, I might sit this one out. But, I do.

And now, Greg Garcia has hit me up with some more UFC questions, so let's do it:

Greg here. I'm back a few questions I would like your thought on.

Obviously the news that has stole the week (last week) away from WEC 41 and Strikeforce (both of whom offered great fights by the way) is that Kimbo Slice will be on the 10th season of the Ultimate Fighter. Its sure to be a huge rating boost. Is this just another reminder that MMA is still entertainment first and sport second? Do you think Dana White is being a little hypocritical after all the smack he threw down on Slice?

Nah. I mean let's be honest. If there was a huge concern about looking a little made-for-tv, then they never would have done a reality show to find fighters in the first place, right? And, no other reason is given more often about the popularity of the UFC than the Ultimate Fighter. If Slice is a joke, let's find out. And what better way for us to see then for him to have to win 4 fights on that show. I have no idea what to expect, but I will readily admit that the last time they did heavyweights, I was pretty unimpressed.
Lyoto Machida wasting Rashad Evans in the second round at UFC 98 revealed that Machida may be a few steps ahead of everyone else in that division. Who do you think is someone that poses the best threat to Machida? Also, over or under: 2 yr title run for Machida?

Wow. He is awesome. I am most impressed with his ability. At the same time, if there is one thing I have learned watching MMA, it is nobody is invincible, so I will just play the percentages and take the under. I would wager pretty heavily that 99% of champs never see 2 full years with the belt. As for his biggest threat, I would have to say Rampage remains that guy. 205 is unreal with depth, and sitting on top of that belt seems rather difficult to do. But, I do love Machida quite a bit.
UFC 99's main event is Rich Franklin vs Wanderlei Silva. Both guys are in need of win, with a win both guys are still a few more wins away from a title shot. Do you think their is room for cruiser weight (186-195) class for tweeners like Franklin?

I hope not. I know there are some guys caught in the middle, but everytime you establish more weight classes, you water down the competition. I love the competitive nature of 170, 185, and 205 right now. If you put 1 or 2 or 3 more classes in that mix, I think then the pool gets more shallow again. I think they are right as they are.
Just as soon as I asked about the UFC going to Dallas, low and behold the word now is that UFC 103 will be here in Dallas on Sept 19. Can expect to get some prime coverage on the event from the mighty Ticket? Perhaps a 'Scoops' - Dana White showdown would be interesting?

I don't think there is any question I will be doing my part. I am very eager to see who we might get on that card, but know I will be front and center when that goes down.
You insight & opinions are appreciated.


Greg Garcia

And here is the official UFC 99 Teaser:

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