Silva connected with heavy punches throughout the 195-pound catchweight contest, but Franklin countered with frequent kicks and punches of his own. Both fighters were hurt on multiple occasions during the three-round, 15-minute bout, but the frequency of Franklin’s strikes were enough to earn him the unanimous decision victory.
As was the case with all of the card’s unanimous decisions, the official judge’s scores weren’t announced, but the fight appeared to be closer than the unanimous scores indicated (MMAFrenzy.com scored the bout 29-28 Franklin).
With the win, the former UFC middleweight champion Franklin, who now competes at light heavyweight, improves to 25-4, while Silva, a former PRIDE light heavyweight title-holder who is moving down to middleweight, falls to 32-10-1 following the loss.
In a battle of heavyweight contenders, Cain Velasquez used his superior wrestling to dominate Cheick Kongo en route to a unanimous decision victory in the UFC 99 co-headliner. Velasquez, now 6-0 in his young career with four-straight UFC victories, should meet another contender in the 265-pound division in his next bout with fellow wrestling prospect Shane Carwin among his potential opponents. Kongo, meanwhile, must improve his ground game if he’s to climb back up the heavyweight ladder towards a title shot, as Velasquez easily secured mount and rained down ground and pound throughout the bout.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic successfully made his return to the Octagon at UFC 99, dispatching of Mostapha Al-Turk with punches midway through the opening round of their heavyweight fight. An accidental eye gouge that set up Cro Cop’s finishing flurry was the only blemish on the bout, but appeared to have little affect on the result as Al-Turk had been staggered with punches moments earlier. Unbeaten in his last four fights, Cro Cop improves to 25-6-2, while Al-Turk falls to 6-5, including an 0-2 mark in the UFC, and should soon find himself released by the promotion.
Mike Swick stopped Ben Saunders with punches in the second round of their welterweight contest on Saturday at the Lanxess Arena, lining himself up for a fight against a 170-pound contender, with the loser of July’s matchup between current champion Georges St-Pierre and Thiago Alves, Martin Kampmann, or Carlos Condit among the possibilities. Swick is now 14-2 on his career with wins in 9 of 10 UFC bouts, while Saunders drops to 7-1 with the first loss of his career.
In other main card action, Spencer Fisher spoiled Caol Uno’s UFC return with a unanimous decision victory and Dan Hardy won the biggest fight of his career by outpointing Marcus Davis via unanimous decision in the pay-per-view opener.
The event’s official results were:
- Rich Franklin def. Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision
- Cain Velasquez def. Cheick Kongo via unanimous decision
- Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def. Mostapha Al-Turk via TKO (strikes) — Round 1, 3:06
- Mike Swick def. Ben Saunders via TKO (strikes) — Round 2, 3:47
- Spencer Fisher def. Caol Uno via unanimous decision
- Dan Hardy def. Marcus Davis via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Terry Etim def. Justin Buchholz via submission (D’Arce choke) — Round 2
- Denis Siver def. Dale Hartt via submission (rear naked choke) — Round 1
- Paul Taylor def. Peter Sobotta via unanimous decision
- Paul Kelly def. Roli Delgado via unanimous decision
- Stefan Struve def. Denis Stojnic via submission (rear naked choke) — Round 2, 2:37
- John Hathaway def. Rick Story via unanimous decision
[Pictured: Rich Franklin]