UFC® 99, the first UFC event held in mainland Europe at Cologne's Lanxess Arena, has Bread donning his lederhosen, whipping up some wiener schnitzel and looking for upsets.
Saturday’s UFC 99 event held in Germany is the prelude to the big century celebration in a few weeks. I have to say that I’m impressed with the card that they have put together right before the big 100.
There are four fights that I absolutely cannot wait to watch and a handful of others that hold some interest as well. Be sure to make your plays early as the fights will begin around noon ET. Also be sure to make your entries in SBR’s first ever UFC Capping Contest which will offer cash prizes at 5Dimes for the winners. For my plays, I won’t be upset if there are more than a few upsets.
Rich Franklin -145
|Time to get uglied up again!
Wanderlei Silva +125
Can you believe that Rich Franklin (26-4-0) finally lost to someone NOT named Anderson Silva? Me neither, but Dan Henderson was able to eek out a split decision win over Ace in his last fight.
Franklin remains one of the faces of the UFC. This event has been receiving some negative publicity from the ignorant German media and it has been Franklin who has taken on the role of ambassador, assuring the press that everything will be OK. They seem to be listening, but probably because they think that it’s Jim Carrey talking to them.
Speaking of those movie star good looks, I’m thinking that Franklin gets “uglied up” a bit by The Axe Murderer. Silva (32-9-1) has taken on some big names since joining the UFC. He lost to Chuck Liddell, completely manhandled Keith Jardine, and most recently he was knocked out in brutal fashion by his old nemesis Quinton Jackson. He’s actually on quite a slide as he lost to Dan Henderson and Mirko Cro Cop just before coming to the UFC. Silva is obviously at the tail end of an amazing career, but does that mean that he is completely out of gas? I think not.
Wanderlei is still a premier striker in this game and my take is that he we be able to withstand what Franklin has to offer and then perform some serious damage with his fists. Franklin himself described Silva as a blender because “Once his arms start moving, bad things happen.” I know that this is true because I watched ‘Gremlins’ when I was a kid.
Cain Velasquez -195
Cheick Kongo +168
|Behold the Black Adonis
Kongo (24-4-1) is a late replacement for Heath Herring in this fight which virtually guarantees that nobody will be knocked out during the ref’s opening instructions to the fighters. Bummer.
You want to talk about some serious line movement, Kongo opened up as a -170 favorite. Bettors jumped all over Velasquez (5-0-0) who is now the heavy chalk. So I should be smart and jump on Velasquez as well, right? Wrong.
I may be the only one, but I’m taking the guy with the coolest name and most ridiculous body in the UFC. I’m going to start calling Kongo the Black Adonis. I’m not gay, but I’m just saying. You know what I’m saying? I think you do.
I realize that Velasquez has quite a buzz about him right now. All five of his victories have come via early TKO. He is a beast but as of yet, unproven against a fighter of Kongo’s level. The Black Adonis has won three straight and looks to be improving as he chugs along. His cardio is always a bit of a question so the longer this fight goes on, the better Velasquez’s chances become. But if things go my way, Kongo imposes his will early, using his massive frame to batter his opponent. If this happens, Cain won’t be Abel to murder anyone on this day. (I kill me.)
Mike Swick -235
Ben Saunders +195
|Saunders has knee'ds
I see Fight of the Night potential in this battle of tall and lean. Swick (13-2-0) has established himself as an exciting athlete while running up a 10-2 record in the UFC. In his last matchup he battered Jonathan Goulet with a flurry of head shots and ended the fight in just 33 seconds. I’m a fan of Swick’s style, but I like his opponent even more.
Saunders (7-0-2) just about murdered poor Brandon Wolff in December. It was two straight minutes of knees that left Wolff with a second head growing out of his forehead. Saunders was smiling for the entire assault because that’s what he does – he smiles a lot.
Should he pull the upset, I’ll be smiling right along with him. I think these guys are pretty evenly matched and at nearly 2-to-1 odds I’ll be on Killa B Saunders.
Marcus Davis -210
Dan Hardy +175
Some of you may know that I enjoy the fine art of trash talking from time to time. I can also appreciate others who excel at this fine art form. Well Dan Hardy (21-6-0) is a professional trash talker. He has made Davis (21-5-0) very, very angry and has set the stage for a good old fashioned hate match. What fun!
|Dan Hardy is crackers
I’m not sure if Davis is on some form of punishment or something, but this will be his seventh straight fight in Europe. He has taken out some of Britain’s top talent, and would love to add Hardy to his list of English victims. He had an 11-fight win streak snapped a year ago when he dropped a decision to Swick. He’s back to his winning ways in beating his last two opponents. Now “The Irish Hand Grenade” will face Hardy.
At 27, Hardy is seven years younger than the 35 year old Davis, but at times he acts like a complete child. I love him. He says that he got into fighting because he wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. My friend English Mike would describe Hardy as being “crackers.”
He has been taunting Davis since this fight was announced. He encouraged his fans to photoshop unflattering pictures of him. He has called him a fake Irishman. He described Davis’ website as looking like a St. Patrick’s Day parade that blew up. This is all pretty funny stuff, but I hope it does not backfire on him. If you’re going to talk this much smack, you have to back it up. But I’m in way too deep with my upset-minded mentality and I can’t stop now. Davis is so riled up that I think he could lose his game plan in the Octagon and make a mistake. Upset day in Germany! Brot benötigt Geld!
Gesundheit, Herr Brots. You don't have to speak German to catch up on the rest of Bread's articles here at SBR. CLICK HERE