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UFC 97: F*ck It

(Props: MMA Mania)

Maybe the epic visual presentation for St. Pierre vs. Penn 2 has spoiled us, but we’re getting the sense that the UFC’s design department doesn’t really care about their upcoming Montreal show. Above is the poster image they’ve released for #97, which features old stock images of the four headliners in front of a generic cage background, surrounded by a cloud-like fog. Are these the men that are guarding the gates to MMA heaven? And what’s up with the janky-ass bubble-block lettering?

It seems significant that UFC 97 will be just the second UFC pay-per-view event since September to be identified with a word ("Redemption") rather than by the headlining matchup (i.e., "Couture vs. Lesnar," "Franklin vs. Henderson"). We’re guessing that’s because the idea of "Silva vs. Leites" headlining a card tends to bum people out. Still, "redemption" works well as a unifying theme. Liddell and Rua will be battling to rescue their careers after putting in woeful performances in their last fights, and Silva will be trying to redeem himself in the eyes of fans after his oddly restrained and anti-climactic performance against Patrick Cote in October.

Still, if it were up to us, we’d call the card "Silva and Liddell," have the two of them on the poster by themselves, and hope fans are duped into thinking that they’re fighting each other. And we’d dial back the fog machine by at least 50%.

After the jump: The latest announced and rumored matchups for UFC 97. [Updated at 12:16 p.m. PT]

Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites (for middleweight championship)
Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (LHW)
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brian Stann (LHW)
Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry (MW)
David Loiseau vs. Ed Herman (MW)
Mark Bocek vs. David Bielkheden (LW)

Cheick Kongo vs. Antoni Hardonk (HW)
Denis Kang vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam (MW)
Luiz Cane vs. Steve Cantwell (LHW)
Ryo Chonan vs. T.J. Grant (WW)
Sam Stout vs. Matt Wiman (LW)

Cagepotato Comments

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eelcozy- February 10, 2009 at 11:42 am
UFC 97: Photoshop's smudge tool is super awesome!

Maybe Anderson Silva will piledrive Thales Leites! And a matchup that would have been interesting 3 years ago!
BuckWild- February 10, 2009 at 5:57 am
Ha ha @ Thoughts ! He said "Pills"
Anonymous- February 10, 2009 at 12:37 am
Bad MMA promotional poster is Bad
Aussiejosh- February 10, 2009 at 12:14 am
No way is Kang on the undercard! If Dana has put Kang on the undercard then Dana is a dick!
mmadude84- February 9, 2009 at 11:43 pm
Seriously Liddell wants to prove his relevancy with an easy win over a big name like Shogun who might I add, still hasn't looked the same like the Shogun back in Pride. Perhaps this fight would have had some appeal to it had it not been for both fighters getting injured training for this fight the first time around. And also their recent lackluster performances doesn't help either. I'm a huge Shogun fan, but I just can't see him winning this fight against Chuck...Not unless they legalize stomps and soccer kicks to the head! Shogun needs to seriously ditch his camp and go train with Wanderlei.
nippletwist- February 9, 2009 at 9:47 pm
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brian Stann
Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry
David Loiseau vs. Ed Herman

are all really good fights

and if cane vs cantwell or kongo vs hardonk do happen those are really good fights too

this could be pretty solid
Anonymous- February 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm
looks like dana brought the creative work in house for this event
Anonymous- February 9, 2009 at 6:25 pm
how the heck is K-Sos on the main card but Kongo isn't that is just mind blowing
Th3R3al3st- February 9, 2009 at 5:56 pm
Wonder if ol' Mike Goldberg will fuck up and call Matt Wiman, Watt Miman again.... Redeem Yourself Goldie!!!
spookystew- February 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm
Am I the only one that noticed the word "redemption" is basically connected the cocks of the two fighters? I hope someone else noticed it, because not only is Silva challenging his weight class, he's challenging my sexuality.
Herald Foster- February 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm
most of you guys dont realize how good thales is. this is the kind of match ups the ufc should be making and next to a rematch with nate the great, this is the one id most like to see. what do you think the line on liddell shogun will be?
Anonymous- February 9, 2009 at 3:48 pm
I don't know why you fuck sticks are jacked up for Cane/Cantwell.
Cantwell is in way over his head Cane is going to blow up his fucking jaw.
You people need to get this bullshit out of your heads that if guys fight on SpikeTV they're the best in the world.
Watch some more shit jack asses!
There is a lot better mma than TUF and Spike TV!
mc renn- February 9, 2009 at 3:36 pm
cane vs cantwell will be the bomb tits if it happens son
The Survivalist- February 9, 2009 at 3:15 pm
Shogun has lost it.
weatherman2012- February 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm
To all you "first" gamers, I think you should seriously reevalute your life ambitions if you think being the first to post nothing is even remotely funny or fulfilling...unless you're twelve years old.

CP, nice critique of the poster design. I'm totally with you on that. I've been growing tired of the same old 90's era graphics and lame ass marketing production values. Just because you're the only game in town doesn't mean you can just fucking phone in your visual campaign. How long have they been using that Roman Gladiator intro to the events? They should take a page from the all the slick visual tricks the NFL uses if they want to truly achieve that mainstream clout they're looking for.

I wonder if Shogun really believed Dana when he told him he looked great in his fight against Coleman or if he understands that they offered him the Liddell fight because he looked so shitty they think they're old poster boy could get back on the winning track with an easy victory. Hmmmm......
TUF Guy's Dad- February 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm
Yea, I took away his computer because he was misbehaving. I'm also not letting him hang out with his friends Todd Beard & Jon Koppenhaver.
MMA Heaven's cloud-like fog- February 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm
They should let Leites bring a freind into the cage with him to fight Silva, and they should let them both use weapons....or maybe Chuck, Shogun and Leites could all fight Silva...That would make this worth watching.
SlickRick- February 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm
Yeah, this is an old picture of The Iceman. You can tell because his mohawk hasnt been punched sideways by rashad evans yet.
vajomach- February 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm
id like to see spider move up as much as id like to see GSP move up.
tough one. id like a real LHW to get a chance to train for a fight w/ anderson silva.
Canadian hoser- February 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm
The ufc needs a tournament, fuck all this leites silva shit
vajomach- February 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm
so is vajomach
El_GUAPO- February 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm
Liddell is going to smash SLOWGUN's teeth out, and personally I can't wait to see it. I also agree with the tomato can that is being thrown in the air for Silva to shoot a hole through. The Light heavyweight division has an obvious line it should follow, this leaves a space nicely for a certain Montreal Welterweight to step up and give the Spider something to worry about.
ample- February 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm
is it true...a TUF GUY free comment zone? Thank the lord, damn that guys's a tool
t0pd0g- February 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm
Personally i think Stann is kindof a lucky against cantwell the first time...hes just a tough ass marine. Haha
Bob Loblaw- February 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm
another word for FUPA is gunt. easier to figure out too.