UFC 99 Final Thoughts
-One of the stranger nights of fights in recent memory. Some highlights, off the top of my head...
Saunders and Swick trash talking during the fight and you could clearly hear it, an eye poke, a river sized gash, two questionable decisions on the main card (Franklin/Silva and Fisher/Uno), one coin flip decision (Hardy/Davis), Bruce Buffer didn't give the scores for Fisher/Uno or Franklin/Silva, Miragliotta strikes again, and Velasquez almost got knocked out twice yet won every round convincingly.
-After rewatching the Franklin/Silva fight, I still think Wandy took it. To me, it's not enough to control the action like Franklin did. You need to do something with the control. Silva inflicted more serious damage. If a fighter takes his opponent down in the first ten seconds, lays on top throwing light punches for four minutes, then gets dropped with a strike in the last ten seconds of the round, I don't think his four-plus minutes of control should win the round.
-Cro Cop vs Overeem. Cro Cop vs. Fedor. I like either of those fights a lot more than Cro Cop vs Couture or Cro Cop vs Nogueira. And, yes, Fedor will be in Japan before the year ends.
-Time to get Mike Swick a top opponent. The possibility of a fight with Matt Hughes intrigues me, although I don't know why.
-Cain Velasquez's win was not impressive. We all knew Kongo couldn't wrestle to save his life. Velasquez could not put him away, despite landing hundreds of strikes. I give him credit for working through the punches he ate on his feet, but he's no longer a sure thing in my book. A decent wrestler with powerful strikes will beat him (Lesnar and Carwin come to mind). Lets see how Velasquez evolves now that Kongo poked a couple holes in his aura.
-Where does Wanderlei Silva go from here? He's 2-5 in his last seven fights stretching back to 2006. More troubling was the news he cut 12 lbs the day before weigh-ins. He looked spent after one round with Franklin. It wasn't like Franklin tired him out with grappling, either. If the UFC really believes in him and his future, they'll set him up with an easy opponent for his Middleweight debut. Someone he can knock out early would be best. If it goes deeper than a round, he's in trouble.
-Seriously, what the hell was Buffer's deal? Did he decide on his own not to read the scores? Did he forget (um, twice)?
-Rich Franklin is quietly adding to his Hall of Fame legacy. Even though I thought he lost the fight, he got the decision. Fight long enough and you end up on both sides of strange decisions. Franklin's last time out, he lost a split decision to Dan Henderson, a fight many fans believe Franklin won. I want to see Franklin fight again at 195 lbs. Give him a rematch with Henderson (if he loses to Bisping) at the catchweight.
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