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Preview – UFC 99: Rich Franklin Vs. Wanderlei Silva

UFC 99 has many good fights on the card. It might not be the most endearing card when it comes to grudge matches of fights tugging at the heart strings of fans, but there are a handful of matches on this show that should be really good.

For the preview, we just talked about the top two fights, which we consider to be Cain Velasquez vs. Cheick Kong and the main event featuring Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva.

The FGB crew is back to give their thoughts and Stevie J from AngryMarks.com is back as well.

Cheick Kongo vs. Cain Velasquez

Alan: Velasquez by 2nd round TKO
Stevie J: Kongo by 1st round TKO
Duan: Velasquez by decision
Cactus Jim: Velasquez by 2nd round TKO
GG: Velasquez by 2nd round TKO

Alan says, “Cain SMASHES Kongo, finishing him early in the second with brutal Ground & Pound. I don’t think Cheick has the takedown defense to stop the shots and I think Cain is good enough standing to avoid anything dangerous.”

Stevie J says, “Kongo has proven himself as a finisher against strong heavyweight competition. Velasquez has proven he can finish against relatively unknown competition fighting in un-aired undercard matches. Velasquez has a world of potential but Kongo is a huge step up for him figuratively AND literally and the first round KO from Kongo will be the evidence of that. In two or three years Velasquez will be the real deal but right now it’s too soon.”

Duan says, “Kongo presents something of a risk for Velasquez at this stage of his career, but it is still a rather calculated risk. You don’t get any easy fights in UFC, but Kongo is close to a tailor made opponent for someone with the wrestling credentials of Velasquez.

Kongo is hopeless off his back. His takedown defense has definitely improved, but probably not enough to keep this fight on the feet for any significant length of time. He has a decent chance of catching Velasquez on the way in, but failing that I see him being shut out on the cards.”

Cactus Jim says, “If I never see Kongo again, it would be too soon. There isn’t enough footage of Velasquez for me to make a solid decision about him. His cardio looks suspect to me and although he’s undefeated, he hasn’t fought anyone on the level of Kongo. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt based on Kongo’s previous problems with good wrestlers and say that Cain takes him down and gets another GNP victory.”

GG says, “There’s always a chance that Kongo can catch him, but I just think that he’s tailor made for Velasquez. I see him taking Kongo down and Kongo not being able to do anything about it.”

Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva

Alan: Silva by 1st round TKO
Stevie J: Franklin by decision
Duan: Franklin by 2nd round TKO
Cactus Jim: Franklin by decision
GG: Franklin by decision

Alan says, “I think Silva beats Franklin. I really should just toss a coin because this is so hard to call. But yeah I’ll go with Silva by WILD STRIKING late in the first.”

Stevie J says, “Wanderlei Silva has looked past his prime in four out of his last five fights. In fact, he reminds of Big Nog in more ways than I care to count – Brazilian, beloved, and beat up to hell. One strong flurry could send Franklin to the canvas but I think he has the skill to avoid it and the technique to outlast and outpoint Silva. If he can do it to Okami, he can do it to anyone.”

Duan says, “Everything I have seen recently tells me that Silva is a shot fighter. The only question really is whether dropping a weight class can rejuvenate his career. This catch weight fight should give us some indication as to what difference it will make.

My feeling is that Franklin will still be too much for him at this stage. I don’t believe all Silva’s problems have been the result of size. His style has always made him easy to hit. Now that his movement has slowed and his chin has deteriorated, he looks vulnerable at all times. Franklin is an excellent strategist. He won’t allow Silva to close him down and overwhelm him. He will stay out of danger and wait for his opening.”

Cactus Jim says, “Jesus, these 2 are tough for me to call and I don’t really care about either fight. In my opinion, Franklin is not as good as we’re led to believe, while Silva has been KO’ed so many times lately that people should be discussing him and Chuck having a joint retirement party. Sure, Silva has a puncher’s chance and could come in and lay some old school violence on Franklin resulting in an early knock out, but I don’t think it will happen. Although my heart is with Wanderlei, I think Franklin takes a decision.”

GG says, “I think it’s a safe fight for both guys. Franklin doesn’t have the type of power to put Silva out with one shot, which has been his kryptonite of late. And Silva can be hit and may even be target practice for Franklin, which bodes well for him. The key will be whether or not Silva can use his wild style to confuse Franklin early on or not. I’m going to guess not, and that means Franklin picks him apart for three rounds.”

Stevie J and I discussed all the fights on the AngryMarks.com Podcast late Thursday evening.

We probably won’t have live play by play because the show is on early this Saturday, but we’ll have play by play on the site long before most people will be watching the show.

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