As UFC 99 looms, Wanderlei Silva wonders if the win is finally more important than the show
For all of the ferocious attacks Wanderlei Silva (32-9-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC) has implemented with his hands, elbows, feet and knees in his 23 career wins by knockout or TKO, it is perhaps his eyes that are most intimidating.
The animal-like stare, full of evil intentions, has won "The Axe Murderer" countless fights before the opening bell ever sounded.
But on this day, Silva's threatening stare has softened, and his eyes betray him. The intimidation is replaced with reflection, and those eyes are staring at his own hands as they rest on a table in the office of his Las Vegas gym.
WANDERLEI SILVA AGAINST THE ROPES AT UFC 99
With a nickname like "The Axe Murderer," you're either one of two things: a serial killer or one of the top fighters in the world.
Probably best described as "happy go lucky" outside of the cage, Wanderlei Silva
falls into the latter category.
But in his fight with Rich Franklin at UFC 99 on Saturday, a 195-pound catchweight bout, Silva finds himself fighting for his reputation, and quite possibly, his future within the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
UFC 99 IN-DEPTH: FRANKLIN VS. SILVA
During different stages in their respective careers, both Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva have been considered the absolute best in their weight classes. Franklin ruled the roost at 185 pounds, while Silva dominated his way to a four-year unbeaten streak.
Both fighters have run into a few obstacles over the last few years. Silva is 1-4 in his last five fights, while Franklin has gone 3-2 with tough losses to pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva and a decision loss in his most recent fight against Dan Henderson.
UFC 99: Dan Hardy's Mouth Creating Huge Hype, Marcus Davis Tries to Subdue Emotions
Following UFC 95, Dan Hardy seemed to have one thing on his mind. Instead of talking about his knockout victory over Rory Markham in detail during the post-fight press conference, Hardy decided to take the opportunity to help Joe Silva create a matchup that has now reached new heights in bad blood. Hardy called out Marcus Davis due to the fact that Davis has managed to win four of his last five bouts on British soil while defeating 3 British fighters in Jason Tan, Paul Taylor, and Paul Kelly.
BJ Penn: There Won't Be Bad Blood With Me and Kenny Florian
BJ Penn has been known as a guy who can market and build up massive interest for a fight. He knows how to hype up a fight and ham it up for the cameras when he needs to. The attention gained in high profile fights with Sean Sherk and Georges St. Pierre was largely in part of BJ talking the talk and building up on the "bad blood" between them.
His next fight will be against Kenny Florian at UFC 101, and I have the feeling that this time it will be different. There is no first fight with a controversial decision, there is no steroid use or "cheating" that he could build up on, and no one has said anything bad about each other. I think that this fight will be one without animosity, and I think that it will be a great fight between the two best fighters in the division who have mutual respect for each other.
Dale Hartt: Pink gi, stealthy scouting and old friends lead to UFC 99 bout with Dennis Siver
As the sport of mixed martial arts continues to evolve, the athletes that compete in the cage have begun to rely on cross-training and gym-hopping to develop as complete fighters.
When Dale Hartt (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) stepped away from his normal routine at Xtreme Couture to train for his UFC 99 bout with Dennis Siver (13-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at Greg Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts in New Mexico, it was for a simpler reason.
"I don't know if my girl's listening to the show, but it was an escape plan," Hartt recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "My girl gets real nervous when I fight, and it creates a lot of distractions for me."
UK and Ireland Fans Will See UFC 99 Regardless of Setanta Sports Turmoil
The Ultimate Fighting Championship have guaranteed fans tonight that UFC 99 from Cologne will be available to British and Irish fans on Saturday night. Speaking exclusively to Telegraph.co.uk, Marshall Zelaznik, president of the UK division of the UFC, that the mixed martial arts organisation “will ensure that fans will see UFC 99 irrespective of what happens with Setanta.” The well-documented financial strife Setanta is under is believed to be reaching a head as executives attempt to secure a last-ditch rescue package that will prevent the company tipping into administration. Staff have been told that the company will continue to broadcast as the search for fresh investment continues
CroCop: This is not my last UFC fight
Mirko 'CroCop' Filipovic says that his fight with Mostapha Al-Turk on Saturday night will not be his final outing in the UFC, no matter what the outcome.
"This is not my last fight for the UFC, you have my word on that," he said from his home in Croatia last night. “I think I owe a lot to the UFC and to the UFC fans.”
“When I was in the hospital after my surgery I was thinking - and I didn't even talk to Dana about it - I had it on my mind I would fight in Cologne because UFC is coming to Germany where the biggest and largest Croatian community is. People - even my doctor - did not believe I would make it but I did, I am in excellent shape,” the PRIDE 2006 open weight grand prix champion explained.
First UFC Gym set to open in Concord, California on June 17
The UFC Octagon isn’t just for fighters anymore. Now, for the first time in the 15-year history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, anyone - no matter how young or old – can experience what it’s like to train in the most exciting sport in the world thanks to the launch of the UFC Gym. UFC and New Evolution Fitness Company (NEFC) announced today that Concord, California will be the first home to the ultimate fitness destination, one that combines a complete UFC experience with mixed martial arts and fitness.
UFC Quick Quote: Lyoto Machida’s got MMA in his blood
"I did an evaluation of everything that he used to train and asked for a complete blood analysis to rate from the beginning up to the close of the fight and after that I set a periodization of cycles focusing on the physical qualities that needed to be improved. So I worked on force, power and ability..."
Ace in the hole: An MMAmania.com UFC 99 interview exclusive with Rich Franklin
Rich Franklin is one of the most recognizable faces in the history of mixed martial arts and a guy that to this day, remains one of the UFC’s most beloved former champions.
The day may come where “Ace” get serious consideration to be inducted into the UFC Hall-of-Fame, mainly due to his sixteen month reign as middleweight champion from 2005-2006, but for now that can wait.
At the age of 35 he has yet to show any visible signs of slowing down, however there is officially light at the end of the tunnel. He has now gone past the nine year mark in his storied professional career.
UFC 99: Wanderlei Silva's Swan Song?
Wanderlei Silva is one of the best athletes in the history of mixed martial arts, a former Pride middleweight champion who at one point was considered the most feared fighter in MMA. But if he loses to Rich Franklin at UFC 99, could Silva be finished?
Crocop: 'I was just empty in my head'
Croatian heavyweight Mirko "Crocop" Filipovic believes his previous woes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship were purely mental.
"I think I was just empty in my head," said the man once considered the most dangerous striker in mixed martial arts. "It was just the head problem, not body."
M-1 Continues UFC Plea For Fedor Fight
After 2 years, the pleas keep being made by M-1 Global. They do remain in contact with UFC about a Fedor Emelianenko fight although no negotiations have taken place. They remain hopeful of something happening though, perhaps buoyed by reports that Mirko Cro Cop has only a one-fight deal with UFC covering UFC 99.
Nogueira postpones retirement for UFC title run
Rodrigo ‘Minatauro’ Nogueira expects to retire next year and says he would like to end his career in Japan or Brazil - but first he wants to take another run at the UFC heavyweight title currently held by Brock Lesnar.
Regarding his loss to Frank Mir in his most recent outing, Nogueira says: “This defeat has postponed my retirement, I want to run after the belt.
“I want to be another warrior to help the guys to take this American hegemony and bring four belts for Brazil,” he explains in next month’s print edition of Tatame, outlining his belief that he and Thiago Alves can top their weight divisions in the near future.
UFC 99: Caol Uno Returns and Can History Give Spencer Fisher the Formula for Success?
Back in March, hardcore fans were treated to an announcement that brought back some nostalgic memories of a crafty fighter who was one of the first Japanese lightweights to have an impact in the history of the UFC. Caol Uno(27-11-4) will make his return to the Octagon at UFC 99 against what may be considered one of Joe Silva's best matchups on the card as he takes on Spencer Fisher in a lightweight tilt.
Despite recent hurdles, Saturday's UFC 99 event nearing sellout status in Germany
Saturday's UFC 99 event, the first-ever UFC show to take place in Germany, is close to being sold out.
Jennifer Wenk, the UFC's director of public relations, said during Monday's pre-event media conference call that the event is "about 85 percent sold out."
"UFC 99: Franklin vs. Silva," which features a main event between Rich Franklin and Wandleri Silva at a catch-weight of 195 pounds, takes place at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, and airs on pay per view. It's the first overseas event for the UFC since it ventured to Dublin, Ireland, in January for UFC 93.
Rampage Says Rashad Was Afraid When He Fought Machida
By now, it's no secret that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson isn't fond of Rashad Evans. The two went nose to nose after UFC 96 and nearly fought at a recent photo shoot. Jackson is chomping at the bit for a fight with the former champion.
New champion Lyoto Machida was a frequent refrain at a media day for the tenth season of "TUF." Jackson said Evans had it all wrong when he faced "The Dragon."