(‘All I do is drink one shake for breakfast, another for lunch, then follow up with sensible dinner. Many thanks, Nutrisystem. If Wanderlei can do it, anyone can do it!’ Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)
Wie geht’s, Potato Nation? You ready to see the nation of Germany get its collective mind blown when they realize, with some measure of disappointment, that the UFC is not a bare-knuckle brawl to the death? I’m looking forward to it almost as much as I’m looking forward to seeing Cro Cop get his head kick on once again, while Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin battle for relevance in the UFC’s highly competitive catchweight divison. We’re going to get started any minute now, so remember to hit refresh every so often to keep your ass current.
Cheick Kongo gets us started by vowing that if he doesn’t deliver the Fight of the Night against Cain Velasquez, then he isn’t Cheick Kongo. This begs the question, who would he be? For this and other answers, stay tuned.
…and Mostapha Al-Turk clearly decided not the do any body hair management before filming his shadow boxing in the rain montage. Look dude, you ain’t gotta be all waxed or anything, but Bigfoot-after-a-downpour isn’t a good look for anyone.
Mike Goldberg on the Davis/Hardy rivalry: “The bad blood goes well beyond dislike.”
We’re just phoning in this storyline at this point, aren’t we?
Uh-oh, check out Bruce Buffer getting all sprechen sie Deustch on the German crowd. They seem equally pleased and confused
A lot of feinting and circling to start this off, but then it’s Davis who goes for the clinch and looks for a takedown. So much for any gentlemen’s agreement to stand and bang. Davis gets the takedown and moves right away to mount, but can’t stay there. Hardy gets half and then full guard, all without absorbing much damage. Hardy tries to get to his feet and Davis works to keep him down. Hardy gets up and treats the German crowd to a little foot stomp action. Hardy finishes the round with a good elbow that cuts Davis and then follows with a good punch combo that wobbles Davis. Probably not enough to steal the round, but it’s the most effective offense so far.
Between rounds Mark Dellagrotte told Davis, “You’re not cut.” Which isn’t really true, but maybe it’s soothing to hear. Hardy lands a couple of kicks and circles away from Davis with good left hooks. A right lands from Davis but a knee from Hardy lands right on Davis’ chin and puts him down. Hardy dives on him with some flailing hammer fists, but Davis recovers, gets guard, and even tries an armbar. After a ref standup Davis looks for another clinch, and when that fails he lands a big right, though Hardy just smiles at him. A takedown from Davis ends the round. It’s clear where he thinks he’s going to win this thing. Looks like one round each.
Davis drops Hardy with a punch to start the third, then takes a cautious approach to following up on it. Davis goes to half-guard and tries to sneak in some ground-and-pound before rolling for a footlock. Hardy looks only mildly annoyed as he escapes the footlock and subsequent heelhook attempt. Hardy looks a little tired as he presses Davis against the cage, but he manages a takedown to put Davis on his back for a change. A big elbow from Hardy hurts Davis and gets the blood flowing. They stop to check him and he seems not all there, but the fight continues. After a little more GnP they stand back up. Davis’ face is covered in blood and Hardy is content to stay on the outside and pick away at him as the final round comes to a close. Looks like a decision for Hardy from where I’m sitting.
Dan Hardy def. Marcus Davis via split decision. Who the hell scored it for Davis? Hardy tries to shake his hand but Davis isn’t having it. Seems he somehow thought that he won that fight. Not sure how. Hardy does the old ‘just trying to hype the fight’ thing in the post-fight interview. That train always pulls into the station right on time, doesn’t it?
We start with a solid minute’s worth of circling, then Uno shoots for a double-leg and Fisher sprawls. Uno stands up and clinches Fisher against the cage as they both pummel for position. A lack of action is making the German crowd restless, so Yamasaki moves in to separate them. A good leg kick from Fisher is the most offense we’ve seen so far. Uno shoots again, to no avail. The horn finally sounds and I guess we’ve got to give that round to Fisher. You know, because of the leg kick.
Uno drops under a Fisher punch and manages his first successful takedown of the fight, though he can’t keep Fisher down long enough to do anything. Uno shoots again and misses and the German crowd seems upset when Fisher kicks him to the body while he’s on the crowd. That’s allowed, people. A fancy little sweep from Uno puts Fisher on his back and now Uno will work from his guard. Fisher responds with a sweep of his own and gets back up. Fisher tries a leg trip but it only brings Uno down on top of him. A lot of up and down and not much damage being done to either man so far. Uno tries to jump into guard in the final minute, but again, nothing doing. The German crowd finds its supply of boos.
Uno wastes no time getting into the clinch and trying for a takedown, which is clearly the entirety of his gameplan. Fisher lands a good left hand, but it doesn’t deter Uno’s single-minded focus on the takedown. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg are trying really hard to convince us that this is a great fight, unless you’re a “drunken meathead.” Fisher lands a good uppercut, and it’s these solitary strikes that may tip the decision in his favor, should the final two minutes prove as uneventful as the first thirteen. Uno gets him down with a minute left and gets the mount. He lands some good elbows and may actually steal this round and maybe even the fight. The German crowd isn’t impressed either way.
Spencer Fisher def. Caol Uno via unanimous decision. Guess it’s not enough to finish on top, although it’s hard to feel like anyone really won that fight.
Swick comes out to 2Pac’s “Ambitionz as a Ridah.” It’s hard to think of anyone in the UFC who embodies the attitude and flair of 2Pac less than Swick.
Saunders goes for the clinch right away and pulls Swick into his guard. You’d think that would be the set-up for some aggressive submissions attack from the bottom, but instead Saunders is just holding him while Swick chips at him with body shots. A frustrated Swick asks “Are you gonna fucking hold me all night?” To which Saunders responds, “No, we can stand back up, bitch.” Rogan scores that exchange as a victory for Saunders, on account of his use of the word “bitch.” After a ref stand-up they try to find their range with punches, but quickly go back to the clinch. The round ends with more boos from the Germans.
Saunders throws out that left knee but Swick sees it coming and defends well. Swick manages a takedown out of the clinch and jumps into mount, but can’t stay there. Saunders recovers guard and we’re back to this stalemate. The ref stands them up and Saunders continues to try and land the left kick without much success. All at once Swick charges in with a flurry of punches and Saunders goes down off a hard right. Swick adds a couple lefts and Saunders is done. The ref calls a stop to it and Swick leaps out of the cage to share some love with his UFC bosses.
Mike Swick def. Ben Saunders at 3:47 of round 2.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Mostapha Al-Turk
A pretty chiseled Cro Cop makes his way to the Octagon while his Croatian fans cheer him on. Sure would be a shame to let those guys down. They seem like the types to flip a few cars over when they get disappointed by life.
Al-Turk is the aggressor early on, even if he looks a little awkward doing it. He’s jumping around with looping punches and unathletic kick attempts while Cro Cop picks his spots to land short punches. The left hand from Cro Cop is landing easily now. He throws one right after another and Al-Turk is down. Cro Cop tries a little ground-and-pound but then makes Al-Turk get back up. He counters an Al-Turk right with a left and Al-Turk turns his back and covers his face like a crying schoolgirl. Cro Cop seems slightly confused by this, but works a few uppercuts in until Al-Turk goes down again and Big Dan Miragliotta finally stops it.
A replay shows an accidental eye-poke from Cro Cop that elicited the reaction from Al-Turk, but like Cro Cop says, it probably didn’t change the outcome.
Cro Cop def. Mostapha Al-Turk via TKO at 3:06 of round 1.
Cain Velasquez vs. Cheick Kongo
So we’re calling the Vaseline application era the "Harley-Davidson prep point" now? Is that new, or have I just not been paying close enough attention to the UFC’s attempts to turn everything into a sponsorship opportunity?
A big right hand from Kongo makes Velasquez’s legs go wobbly right away, but he recovers instantly and gets the takedown. They scramble for position and Velasquez keeps Kongo on the mat, going from side control to mount to Kongo’s back in a matter of seconds. Velasquez has a rear naked choke and it looks tight, but Kongo fights through it. Kongo gets up briefly and Velasquez puts him right back down. Velasquez is mauling Kongo on the ground right now. He is flinging Kongo around and pounding him whenever the opportunity presents itself. Kongo has no answer for the constant attack of Velasquez, but he is hanging in there and absorbing the punishment well, and somehow he survives the round.
Again Kongo hammers Velasquez at the start of the round, but Velasquez has a granite chin. He works his way in past the punches and gets another takedown. As well as Velasquez is controlling Kongo on the mat, every second he stands up with him must take a year off his trainer’s life expectancy. Kongo is basically covering up and trying to avoid punishment, but Velasquez never stops. He brutalizes Kongo with some knees to the body from back control. Kongo is bloodied up and looks exhausted as the horn sounds.
This time Velasquez shoots in without taking any big shots from Kongo, but it’s Kongo who gets the first takedown of the round for some odd reason. This turns out to be a bad idea, as Velasquez quickly goes from the bottom to the top and resumes his battery of Kongo. Velasquez seems to be bleeding from his mouth now. Kongo gets back up and narrowly misses with some punches before being taken down and mounted again. Kongo is showing a lot of heart in taking this ass-kicking, but that’s not going to win him this fight. The final round comes to a close and there’s no doubt who won. Kongo tries to get to his feet, but can’t do it.
Cain Velasquez def. Cheick Kongo via unanimous decision.
Afterwards Velasquez says the performance wasn’t good enough, and promises he’ll get better. That’s kind of scary.
And from somewhere…off in the distance…the sound of “Sandstorm” comes drifting in on the gentle breeze…
Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin
After a slow first minute, Franklin gets the first significant blow by diving in with a straight left that catches Wanderlei flush. Silva fires back with his trademark looping hooks, but they come up short. Franklin snaps a kick in to Silva’s body, and few moments later Silva tries a head kick that gets mostly blocked. Franklin lands another body kick but Silva catches this one and puts him on his back, going to work out of his guard. Franklin scrambles back to his feet and Silva ends up on his back after an ill-advised guillotine attempt. Silva is cut around his right eye as he gets back to his feet, and the round comes to a close with Franklin likely getting the better of it.
Franklin continues to attack with the left kick to the head and the body, but Silva is seeing it coming now. Silva lands a decent right, but it doesn’t seem to have bothered Franklin. He’s constantly on the move and appears to have Silva off balance. Franklin landing with more frequency now and Silva is unable to get close enough. A big looping right hand catches Franklin behind the ear and wobbles him. Silva attacks and lands several more good rights. Franklin is in trouble, but he collects himself and lands a good left and later a head kick. They’re both slipping around and swinging for the fences as the round ends.
They start the third slowly with Franklin circling away and Silva following. Wanderlei is the aggressor here, definitely throwing more even if he’s not landing all that often. Franklin continues to work the kicks to the body and Silva is tired, but still plodding forward. Silva calls for the crowd to get off their butts, then follows with kick. They’re both swinging away now, and Silva pushes Franklin back with some power shots. Franklin gets the takedown in the final minute, and that could make all the difference. They end the fight with Franklin behind Silva looping punches in and Silva throwing elbows behind him. Tough one to call.
Rich Franklin def. Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision.
Wandy seems surprised and bummed, and the German crowd doesn’t agree with the decision either. Franklin makes one of his trainers do push-ups while he talks. Silva definitely took more damage, which you can tell from looking at him during the post-fight interview, but he also pressed the action. Tonight it just wasn’t enough.
We see Terry Etim‘s bonus-worthy d’arce choke for the Submission of the Night. That’s all for UFC 99. Hope you enjoyed it. In case you haven’t seen them yet, here are the results from the unaired preliminaries:
John Hathaway def. Rick Story via unanimous decision
Stefan Struve def. Denis Stojnic via submission (rear-naked choke), R2
Paul Kelly def. Roli Delgado via unanimous decision
Paul Taylor def. Peter Sobotta via unanimous decision
Denis Siver def. Dale Hartt via submission (rear-naked choke), R1
Terry Etim def. Justin Buchholz via submission (d’arce choke), R2
Now go add up your scores.