UFC 99 – The Aftermath

UFC 99 wasn’t a must-see blow away show. But it did have a few good fights and a great performance from Wanderlei Silva, who at the end, looked like someone who understands his place in the world of MMA. He’s a legendary name, and because of his ability to show his charisma, his name will continue to draw even if his fighting isn’t up to the necessary standards. Time will tell on that one.

Here’s the feedback from the FGB crew:

Cactus Jim

Show overall rating: Thumbs In The Middle

Best Fight: Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva
Worst Fight: Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders

Not a bad show overall, but a lack of title matches and matches that had any real meaning made it seem even more mediocre than the mediocre matches that took place. Nothing was too terrible and there wasn’t anything very memorable about the show. Franklin showed us he’ll have problems taking guys out at 205. Silva showed us he’ll have a hard time making 185 and while it may be easier on his chin, it won’t be on his cardio. Velasquez showed us he doesn’t have a good defense against a striker, aside from wrestling them to the ground, and that he may be a bit lacking in finishing power. Kongo showed us his defense against a wrestler still sucks balls. Cro Cop’s English has gotten better, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing him again.

Alan

Show overall rating: Thumbs In The Middle

Best Fight: Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva
Worst Fight: Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders

Alright show. Nothing too special. I was disappointed in a couple of fights. Wandy was amazing in his fight and on the mic afterwards. LOVE THAT MAN.

Duan

Show overall rating: Thumbs Slightly Up

Best Fight: Dan Hardy vs. Marcus Davis
Worst Fight: Cheick Kongo vs. Cain Velasquez

The opener and main event made this show worthwhile. The rest of the card was rather forgettable.
Hardy is a good value for money welterweight. I think he’s probably a bit below the division’s elite, but he’s definitely worth keeping around. He’s the type of guy who is going to be a real tough test for a lot of guys in UFC.

I felt that Uno got a raw deal from the judges. I certainly scored the fight in his favour. I only gave Fisher the first round, and that could just as easy been considered a stalemate. I thought Saunders was in over his head against Swick from the time that fight was announced, and that’s how it played out. It was too much, too soon.

A lot of the things we have been hearing about Cain Velasquez turned out to be complete fallacy. Don’t get me wrong, the guy is phenomenal at what he does, but he is a long way from being the complete fighter that people said he was. He wasn’t able to compete on the feet even for a few brief moments. He lacks true power in his ground and pound, and his submission game is seemingly non existent. Velasquez is a great athlete, and his strength and wrestling base are going to be difficult for anyone to overcome. However the myth of him being this monstrous striker has been dispelled as far as I’m concerned.

Silva hung with Franklin far better than I expected. There could still be life in him at 185 pounds. I would like to see him matched with someone like maybe a Chris Leben or Nate Quarry next. That would give us a good measure as to where he is at.

GG

Show overall rating: Thumbs Slightly Up

Best Fight: Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva
Worst Fight: Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders

I think Hardy has the chance to be a star as long as he keeps improving. He has a great look and he understands what it takes to build fights. If he wins a few more fights, I think people will get into him.

I loved Wanderlei, especially after the fight was over. Did he have a better showing than usual, or does Franklin just not have the power to put guys away? I think the latter may be the more correct question to be answered, though, if Silva can get in shape (he was very winded in this fight), I think he can put on some fun fights with guys at 185. But this was at 195 and he still looked uncomfortable at the weight.

As for Velasquez, he definitely has a ton of talent, but he also needs to work on his striking and defense on his feet. Kongo lit him up a few times, but his wrestling instinct took over and he was able to pretty much win every round easily. But against a stronger puncher, it might’ve been curtains for him. Fun show, but not must-see.

Big D

Show overall rating: Thumbs In The Middle

Best Fight: Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva
Worst Fight: Caol Uno vs. Spencer Fisher

UFC 99 was titled The Comeback due to all of the fighters who were either making their long-awaited return to UFC action, or guys wanted to get back on the horse after being tossed off.

For Mirko CroCop, the Croatian Sensation, the Comeback wasn’t quite as spectacular as he had hoped. CroCop faced Mustafa Al-Turk and won the fight via ref stoppage due to strikes, however what the ref did not see until afterwards was the thumb to the eye that stunned Al-Turk. It was an accident, but that didn’t change the fact that it was a tainted victory that kind of left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth. Hopefully Mirko will have one more shot to do it right and perhaps even debut the dreaded “High Kick of Death” in the UFC.

For Caol Uno, the Comeback didn’t happen. He had the most boring fight of the night with Spencer “The King” Fischer. Spencer Fischer is a black hole of charisma and Caol Uno was never that over in the UFC to begin with, despite being a finalist in the UFC’s first ever Lightweight Tournament about 100 years ago. Uno continued to go for a takedown that he didn’t score until the end of the fight and Fischer just worked him to win a boring decision. If you’re watching the replay – skip this fight.

Besides just the theme of “Comebacks”, there were a few “Coming Outs” as well. Mike “Quick” Swick and Cain Velasquez got strong wins on the card. Swick looked very quick, as his name implies, against TUF6 finalist Ben Saunders as he won with a flurry of right hands. Swick is now 9-1 in the UFC – a record that can simply no longer be ignored. Much like Lyoto Machida, its only a matter of time before he gets a shot and he certainly deserves it. I think he’ll have to get one more win against a mid-to-top guy before earning his shot. As for Cain, Jesus Christ what a win. He dominated Kongo for three rounds with his top level wrestling. I however did notice a few chinks in Cain’s armor. Not once but TWICE when Cain went in to shoot, he had his hands down and was hit with BIG SHOTS by Kongo. I thought Cain may have been rocked, but Cain’s awesome jaw kept him alive. However, had it been a Brock Lesnar or a Shane Carwin that caught Cain, he’d be looking at the lights with no questions. Plus, can Cain REALLY take Brock down as easy as he did Kongo? Nope. Cain was one of those guys who I thought had a chance of beating Brock, but the fact is this fight proved that he has a LOT of work to do before he hits that level. Still though, the potential with this guy is endless.

The big main event saw Rich Franklin defeat Wanderlei Silva in an unbelievably close fight at 195 lb catchweight. I was very surprised and a bit let down that Rich couldn’t finish Silva off, specially with how Silva looked. As a Silva fan from the era of PRIDE, this fight made me sad. Silva looked like he was 67 years old here. His hooks were slow and plodding. He tripped numerous times and got caught in the face more times than he should have been. He went down with light shots. I really don’t think Wanderlei has a future in MMA anymore. He might be popular, but so was Chuck and for his OWN GOOD had to be taken out. Perhaps Wandy should follow. Going 1-5 in your last 6 fights, exciting or not, doesn’t exactly make you feel optomistic. I am 100% sure if they do decide to go with Silva vs. Silva (which at this point I don’t think they will), Anderson will dismantle this man and end his life. It’s sad, but true.

UFC 99 was a decent, if underwhelming, show. Nothing worth going out of your way to pay for until perhaps the DVD comes out. UFC 100 – here we come!

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