Where Were the KO's? What Really Killed UFC 99

TimCorrespondent IJune 16, 2009

I watched UFC 99 again and got to thinking: "things seem to go full circle."  Early on, a lot of people were looking at UFC 99 and saying it looked soft. 

I think that is kind of understandable, I mean there were no belts on the line and Franklin vs. Silva isn’t a traditional main event for a PPV. 

With two more next month was the UFC putting all their eggs in one basket?  That's what I initially thought. 

Once I got a good look at the card though, I was actually looking forward to UFC 99.  I was as excited for the main portion of this card as I have been for any in a while.  It was six fights that all looked potentially entertaining to me.   

The Hardy fight, the Cro Cop fight, the Swick fight, Velasquez fight and the Franklin fight all had KO written all over them.  Fans like a KO, I like a KO…I figured this card had to be exciting.

Marcus Davis vs. Dan Hardy

Leading into this fight, everyone I talked to thought this fight was going to be a stand up war that would end with a KO.  Both fighters hated each other and had a preference for stand up.  I thought this was a great fight for an opener. 

Come fight time, the fighters went back and forth.  The stand up was good, but there were a couple lulls in the action, but the fight was pretty much what I thought it would be. 

The only disappointing thing was the lack of a KO.  The fight was close, so that obviously leaves questions in a lot of people’s minds. 

A KO would have answered that.  Ask yourself this:

If this fight was the exact same, but ended with a KO in the final minutes, would there be any disappointment? 

Verdict = Solid fight.

Spencer Fisher vs. Caol Uno

Coming into the event, this fight was the least interesting of the evening to me.  I do like watching Fisher fight, I like his motor, I just didn’t understand the match-up. 

I don’t see Uno as someone who is going to make a run at a title and I haven’t seen anything from him lately that caught my eye.  Anyways, this fight turned out to be a snoozer.  

The fight turned into a clinch fest.  Boo…  

Honestly I think it dragged down the whole evening.  Any unhappiness from the earlier fight was amplified.  Once again, if the first one ended decisively, one snoozer could be forgiven. 

Verdict = Terrible fight

Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders

This is another one I was interested in.  I figured Swick to be the favorite, but I was interested in seeing how he’d handle someone taller than him. 

I like Swick and I thought this could be an interesting battle.  Saunders had shown heart in the past and I thought he would put up a fight.

I guess this is where I was wrong.  Saunders was completely outmatched. 

Swick wins by TKO.  I just wish it happened in the first round. 

They need to put someone good in front of Swick next time.  You wouldn’t hear any complains if Swick won in the first round.  

Verdict = Good fight.

Mirko Cro Cop vs. Mostapha Al Turk

This one was interesting.  While everyone knew this fight should be one-sided, most comments leading up to the fight were hesitant.

Few people wanted to outright declare Cro Cop the winner.  Everyone wanted to see if Cro Cop still had what it takes.  I wanted to see this fight.

I think everyone hoped for a decisive Cro Cop victory and a run through the heavyweight division.  Cro Cop wins by KO, like everybody wanted. 

Unfortunately, due to the eye gouge and the drama between him and Dana afterwards, the dream sullied that for everyone. 

Verdict = Disappointing fight.

Cheick Kongo vs. Cain Velasquez

I was really looking forward to this one.  Kongo is great on the feet and Cain has a history of KO victories.  

I thought Cain’s hype train was a little over blown, but I definitely see potential in the guy.  I fully expected Cain to go for takedowns, but I didn’t expect so little damage to be done when he got them.  I liked seeing Kongo rock him. 

Even though Cain has a lot of potential, I get frustrated by seeing someone so potentially dominant unable to finish the fight.  This fight could have been good, but Valasquez and his inexperience dragged it down. 

This was another one where I was expecting a KO and it just didn’t happen.  Honestly though, if it had either Kongo or Cain had actually finished this fight, people would not be so frustrated. 

If Kongo had caught him a little better, it would have been an exciting KO and if Cain had pounded him out (even in the third), the takedowns leading up to the KO would have just further shown his dominance.  This is another fight where a KO would have dramatically improved the night. 

Verdict = Disappointing fight. 

Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva

I was looking forward to this fight.  I liked the contrast of styles and I knew a lot would take place on the feet. 

Almost everyone I have talked to was pulling for Wandy.  I like Wandy, but I think I was pulling for Franklin in this one, so maybe that skews my judgment.  

This fight was thoroughly exciting to me.  The fight was good, it went back and forth.  Both guys landed shots and had their moment.  Wandy did look tired, but he has too much heart to let that ruin his night. 

Ultimately, I was actually glad to see this one so close.  Moving forward, Franklin can Fight some interesting fighters and Wandy was not made to look any worse.  Once again, more questions would have been answered with a KO, but I was happy with the close decision.  

Verdict = Very good fight.

Final Verdict

Now that the event is over with, we are back to where this started. Everybody calling the card soft. 

I disagree.  All in all I don’t think this was a bad night of match-ups, I think it was a bad night of fights.   

I don’t really hang this one on the UFC, I hang this one on the fighters.  The fighters just couldn’t finish and many of the fights left more questions than answers.  I was excited about most of the fights coming in.

Had it not been for a couple close decisions and all the Cro Cop drama this could have been a great card. I believe 100% had there been a knockout ending to the Hardy fight and/or the Velasquez fight peoples opinion of the event would be very different. 

People want to see knockouts! 

It ends all discussion and definitively declares a winner.  The thing that killed this card was the number of decisions, plain and simple, but I don't think you can’t really blame the UFC for that.


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