The UFC makes its first ever trip to Germany Saturday night for UFC 99. The last time there was a UFC pay per view, it was one of the weaker events in recent memory. This card could easily wash that bad taste out of my mouth. There are a good number of fights that will be up for fight of the night in my opinion.
Here are a few of the candidates and why they are worth tuning into:
Main event Rich Franklin vs Wanderlei Silva
Two of the most popular fighters in the world today. This fight is at a catch weight of 195 pounds and both guys are former champions and have been in the top pound for pound rankings. I don't see this fight going to the ground at all. This is going to be a striker's delight. Franklin is known for his conditioning and he's going to need it against the assault of Silva. Wanderlei has been knocked out cold too many times recently. I think it happens again.
Cheick Kongo vs Cain Velasquez
This one has the making of a heavyweight thriller. Velasquez is the fastest rising star in the division and was supposed to be fighting Heath Herring. An injury led to Kongo stepping in and actually makes for a better fight. Kongo has been on a roll and thinks he deserves a title shot. A win over the much hyped Velasquez will get him that honor. Somebody is going to get knocked out in this one. I have Velasquez coming out on top and continuing his climb to the top of the ladder.
Dan Hardy vs Marcus Davis
Bad blood always makes for better more interesting fights and that's what we have here. These two guys have been bashing each other for months. Hardy called Hicks a "Fake Irishman" and that didn't sit well. Hardy has a lot to prove and he's a guy I really like to watch. His style is aggressive and always comes prepared. Marcus Davis is no joke and this is my sleeper pick to steal the show. If these guys want to be considered legit contenders, this is a must win. Don't turn away for one second when this fight is on, it's going to be entertaining.
Mirko Cro Cop vs Mostapha Al Turk
Once considered one of the top two fighters in the world, Cro Cop has fallen on hard times since entering the UFC. He is 1-2 with the organization since 2007. He should be able to regain those winning ways against a guy who is 0-1 in the UFC, a TKO loss to Cheick Kongo. If Cro Cop was to lose today, he might just want to call it a career.
Mike Swick vs Ben Saunders
Can you say slugfest? Two heavy handed guys with a lot on the line. Swick is a well known guy who needs to keep winning against guys that not too many people know about. Saunders is coming off of one of the most dominant wins in recent UFC history, similar to the Anderson Silva beating of Rich Franklin. This fight is about respect. Almost nobody is giving Saunders a shot here. I am.
Full fight card:
Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva
Cheick Kongo vs. Cain Velasquez
Ben Saunders vs. Mike Swick
Marcus Davis vs. Dan Hardy
Spencer Fisher vs. Caol Uno
Mustapha al Turk vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic
Justin Buchholz vs. Terry Etim
Dale Hartt vs. Denis Siver
Peter Sobotta vs. Paul Taylor
Roli Delgado vs. Paul Kelly
Denis Stojnic vs. Stefan Struve
John Hathaway vs. Rick Story
There are a lot of very interesting fight on today's card. I am looking forward to a great show that will lead us to the megacard of UFC 100 in July.
Enjoy the fights. I know I will.