January 17th, Dublin, Ireland.
With great excitement I attended my first ever UFC event and I was not disappointed. Watching top class MMA live is an absolute joy and the event began with what seemed to be an irrelevant fight between Dennis Siver and Nate Mohr. Siver had been cut by the UFC after going 1-3 in the organisation 12 months previous. Siver fought his way back in and was the first to fight on a 10 fight card. The fight itself was an evenly contested clash of styles. Mohr the better wrestler won the first round with excellent top control. The second round was a stand up affair with Siver finding his range in the exchanges. Both rounds were high paced and the fight was excellent as a spectacle. The fight was looking to go to a decision when all of a sudden Siver threw a spinning back kick straight out of the Sakuraba school. An injured Mohr was unable to continue and Siver won knockout of the night.
June 13th, Cologne, Germany.
My first ever UFC on foreign shores was another exciting affair. Although the consensus on various forums was that UFC 93 and 99 were weak shows I beg to differ. Being there live is something else and magnifies the experience ten fold. Siver was in his homeland fighting Dale Hartt. From the start of the fight Siver was dominating completely in every way. He was not going to be beaten on home soil. He took Dale's back and secured a textbook rear naked choke in the first round. Siver was riding a 2 fight win streak in the worlds premier MMA organisation and his stock was rising.
Siver is fighting Paul Kelly at UFC 105 in Manchester. Both fighters have excellent stand up and fight at a high tempo. Expect a potential fight of the night here. With Kelly recently dropping down from Welterweight, one expects he would have the strength advantage. But Siver is a strong dude, this is too close to call in my view, we will have to wait and see.
How is Siver a German Bisping?
In Britain Michael Bisping made MMA a mainstream sport there. Training out of the wolfslair he amassed an impressive record in the UFC, earning himself and the UFC plenty of fans. This is mainly cause he won his early fights and went on a great run before running into Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson. UFC in Britain is a well watched event on TV and as a result is commercially successful for the company.
There are parallels in Siver. Siver has gone on a really good run in the UFC recently. Winning 2 in a row, including one in Germany he has the potential to be a UFC spokesman for the organisation in Europe. A quiet man with a friendly attitude to fans he is the perfect choice. Providing he gets past Paul Kelly he will do this and could eventually become Europe's number 1 lightweight and a UFC regular in the process. It is acheiveable for the German who was an auto mechanic in his hometown of Mannheim until UFC 93. With his big payday from his knockout of the night he has been able to quit his job and train fulltime since January. Paul Kelly will have his hands full and if Siver gets past him he will help expand the UFC's popularity in Germany and beyond.