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Preview: Mayweather/Marquez & UFC 103
September 18, 2009 · By Scott Swerbinsky

Mayweather vs. Marquez

Money is back.  The best pound for pound fighter in the last ten years is making his way back into the ring tonight after nearly a two year layoff.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0 25 KO) was last seen in December of 2007 when he simply destroyed Ricky Hatton. He rode off into the sunset with fat pockets after two huge paydays. Before beating Hatton, Mayweather outclassed "The Golden Boy" Oscar De La Hoya.  Retirement seemed to make sense for a fighter who made a ton of money over the years. His flashy lifestyle is how he was given the nickname "Money."

Now, many observers say the IRS wants their money that "Money" owes them.  Fast forward to the present and what just might be the stiffest test Mayweather has ever seen.  Juan Manuel Marquez is waiting on the other side of the ring to prove his is the best in the business.

Marquez, with a record of 50-4-1, is one of the smartest grittiest fighters you will ever see. He is currently on everyone's top five pound for pound rankings and rightfully so. In two very close losses to Manny Pacquiao, Marquez has actually won more rounds in those two fights.  The proud Mexican wants to show the world that those fights weren't flukes and he should be considered with the top fighters of all time.

When Mayweather decided to leave the sport, he was the top fighter in the world, with no arguments. The time away might make him better. He has a history of hand problems and not fighting for a few months would have to have a good effect on his money makers. The speed that he possesses is second to none and will be on display against a crafty veteran in Marquez.

I see Mayweather with every advantage in this fight. Size,speed, defense, footwork, and even power.  Neither fighter is known for their power but Floyd will be fighting as his more natural weight while Marquez is making a move up. 

In order to win this fight, I believe Marquez needs to turn this into a brawl. He won't be able to outbox Floyd. Mayweather has never really been in a fast paced lay it all on the line battle before. Even though Floyd is a physical specimen, the time off may hinder his in the ring stamina. Ring rust just might play a factor here tonight.

To Mayweather's credit, he could have easily taken a tune up fight after two years off. He decided to take on a top five fighter instead. The winner in that is the fans, no doubt about it.

Juan Manuel Marquez is a great fighter. He has the heart of a champion, we saw that in his fight with Pacquiao where he was knocked down three times in the first and then went on to win almost every round after that. He is going to have to be at the top of his game to hang with Mayweather this evening.

Despite being off for awhile, I still see Floyd as a huge favorite in this fight. The speed factor is going to be very noticeable early and often. I look for Mayweather to wear down Marquez and coast to an easy decision win and possibly score a late stoppage.

I know one thing for sure, the fans are winners tonight. Two of the best fighters in the world going toe to toe. There isn't much better than a huge fight in Las Vegas. That's exactly what we have tonight and I wouldn't want to miss it. You shouldn't either. 

UFC 103

The Ultimate Fighting Championship makes its debut in Dallas for UFC 103 tonight.  The biggest organization in mixed martial arts doesn't like competition and wanted to put together a fight card to go head to head against Floyd Mayweather return to the ring. As a business, that makes great sense, but the fights on the card are a little lacking in my eyes.

The main event has former title holder Vitor Belfort making his return to the octagon after a few years away. Waiting for him will be another former champion in Rich "Ace" Franklin. While both fighters are extremely talented and fan favorites, I'm not sold on this fight being a headliner for a pay-per-view event.

The two fighters agreed to fight at a catch weight of 195 pounds. Franklin has bounced around from both 185 and 205 and isn't a title contender at either division. Belfort, had a tough time making the 195 limit so I don't expect to see him at 185 anytime soon. I would much rather see this fight for free on a Spike telecast.

With all that being said, this fight has the makings of an action packed high paced battle. Franklin and Belfort are impressive strikers and you don't see their ground games much. I expect to see a vicious knockout in this one. When this one is said and done, I don't see either fighter in the title picture, at any weight class. I'm not normally bitter on main events, but this is one I'm scratching my head at.

The fight that has me the most excited on this card is the Josh Koscheck Frank Trigg bout.  Koscheck was on the fast track to title contention but that has recently been derailed. He has lost two of his last three fights and possibly hit his ceiling. He is a very well rounded fighter but has been beaten by the upper echelon guys at 170 pounds. He needs a dominating performance tonight to get another fight.

In Koscheck's way is another fighter returning to the UFC after a few years away. Frank "Twinkle Toes" Trigg last fought in the UFC back in 2005. At age 37, Trigg has a few fights left in him. In order to get any meaningful fights, he needs to win against Koscheck.

The fact that both guys need wins here, should make this one pretty entertaining. Two very good wrestlers getting in there usually means we will see a slugfest. I like the younger, faster, and hungier fighter in Koscheck to get his hand raised in this matchup tonight.

The heavyweight division in the UFC just might be the deepest it has ever been. Two possible title contenders will face off when Mirko Cro Cop steps into the cage with Junior Dos Santos.

Cro Cop has been very unimpressive since coming to the UFC. This just might be his final shot so he needs to make the most of it. He has a record of 2-2 in the UFC and another loss might just be his last for the organization.

Dos Santos is headed in the opposite direction as Cro Cop. While only 2-0 in the octagon, he has been very impressive and is considered a rising star in the sport. If he can get another win over a big name like Cro Cop, he will be in line for a pretty nice step up in competition. Look for him to get that win and to keep climbing the ladder.

Full fight card:

Vitor Belfort vs. Rich Franklin

Junior Dos Santos vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic

Paul Daley vs. Martin Kampmann

Josh Koscheck vs. Frank Trigg

Hermes Franca vs. Tyson Griffin

Efrain Escudero vs. Cole Miller

Tomasz Drwal vs. Drew McFedries

Steve Lopez vs. Jim Miller

Nick Lentz vs. Rafaello Oliveira

Brian Foster vs. Rick Story

Jason Brilz vs. Eliot Marshall

Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Igor Pokrajac

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rob Emerson

Looking at this card from top to bottom, I see a decent card, but not really a pay per view event card. Some of the matches has great potential and I hope I'm wrong about the card. After the phenomenal fight card we saw on Wednesday night at Ultimate Fight Night , UFC 103 better be high quality of there will be some upset fans.

I'll be DVR'ing the UFC while I watch the return of Floyd "Money" Mayweather. Let's see which one leaves the crowd wanting more.

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