UFC 99 featured the comeback of two former MMA champions against one another. Not only did Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin deliver, but the Axe Murderer gave Ultimate Fighting Championship fans a finish for the highlight films.
Franklin wound up getting a unanimous decision over Silva. Personally, I didn’t find the decision so unanimous. I will concede that Franklin was more active during the fight. However, I will say that Silva caused enough damage throughout the fight to get the win.
Silva pressed during the fight, while Franklin sat back and countered. Franklin had Silva’s timing down for most of the fight. Silva was able to connect a few times throughout the fight and was very close to finishing. I am not a big Franklin fan, but he definitely showed me something by hanging in there and coming back.
Silva was looking for a homerun punch in the final round. Silva seemed rejuvenated and even played up to the fans at times. Silva was the aggressor, while Franklin had no desire to engage. Silva was desperately looking for a clinch and some knees but Franklin evaded two attempts.
The final 30 seconds of the Round 3 will make the highlight films. Silva stood up from a Franklin takedown. Franklin was still holding Silva from behind and leaning on the cage. Silva began to fire rocket elbows at Franklin’s face, reminding me of Gary Goodrich from the old UFC days. Franklin was trapped and saved by the bell. Another 30 seconds and Silva would have pulled off one of the most exciting knockouts in UFC history.
For Franklin, the win puts him right back in the mix for a shot at Anderson Silva. Lord knows I have no interest in seeing a third Silva-Franklin match. I do think it would be a great match for a Spike TV special. Otherwise, save us another destruction of Franklin.
For Silva, some interesting decisions will be made. Dana White talked before the fight of a possible Silva-Silva fight. At this point, the only way that would happen is if Forrest Griffin pulls off an upset. Additionally, I don’t think Wanderlei should fight under light heavyweight anymore. His days as Pride FC Middleweight champion are long over. He needs to stick to light heavyweight if he had that much trouble cutting weight.
Silva-Franklin wasn’t the only finish people were talking about after UFC 99. Silva’s old Pride FC mate, Mirko Cro Cop returned to UFC action for what looks like his swan song. Cro Cop defeated Mostapha Al-Turk, but it was the post-fight press conference that made the news for Cro Cop. Dana White went nuts on Cro Cop announcing that he was finished in UFC at the post-show press conference.
White had signed the fight reportedly without a paper contract. White was under the impression that Cro Cop was back for a three-fight deal. Allegedly Cro Cop informed White after the fight that he had signed a three-fight exclusive deal with DREAM.
“Isn’t that a dirty [expletive] thing to do?” “He [ expletive] me. The first time in the history of the company I do one over the phone. He promised me a three-fight deal and he [ expletive] me.”
“Isn’t that a dirty [expletive] thing to do?” White asked rhetorically after being queried about Filipovic’s deal with DREAM. “He [ expletive] me. The first time in the history of the company I do one over the phone. He promised me a three-fight deal and he [ expletive] me.”
“He didn’t keep his word,” White said, who said he’d had a two-hour talk with Filipovic on the day Filipovic texted and asked to be able to return. “He talked about honor and all this other [expletive] and he [ expletive] me.
“He fed me this bull [expletive] about wanting to take a run for the title, and what I think he did was, he went out and did this. He turned down every other [expletive] fighter I offered him, because I needed him to fight Cain. He didn’t just poke Al-Turk; he poked me, too.”
Hey, I don’t feel sorry for Dana White one bit. Here is a guy that has stepped on a lot of throats to achieve his success. He flat out got played. He is the idiot that went into this with his guard down and didn’t sign a contract. One could argue that Dana White got a taste of his own medicine.
Cain Velasquez likely locked in a title fight against the winner of Frank Mir-Brock Lesnar with his win over Cheick Kongo. This was a hell of a fight. You would never know that this was a fight between two heavyweights. The entire fight was fought at a face pace and the two were flying around like lightweights. Kongo should a ton of resilience throughout the fight and won me over as a fan.