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Are You Ready: UFC 115

Fight fans are up in arms about the lack of quality on the card at UFC 115, and to a certain extent, they are right. Rich Franklin vs. Chuck Liddell is a great fight and if this is to be Liddell’s final Octagon appearance, and he is unlikely to get another chance if he loses, it is fitting that he should get to sign off in style as the main event.

It is not by UFC standards a particularly impressive main event. While both men are among the greatest ever fighters to step inside the Octagon, their heyday is long gone. Father time began to caught up with Chuck Liddell at right around about the same time Anderson Silva caught up with Rich Franklin.

Liddell is 2-4 in his last six fights and Franklin is 3-3. These are not the recent records of which UFC headliners are generally made but an exception can be made because of what both Franklin and Liddell have already contributed to the UFC in their glittering careers.

With two aging fighters carrying the card and no belt at stake, you would expect the UFC to have packed the undercard with high profile fighters. Instead there are a surprising lack of star names. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is always an attraction, but given that both the headline fighters are open to accusations of being past their prime, you would have thought the UFC would have saved his fight with the hard-hitting Pat Barry for another day.

It should still be a highly entertaining contest as both men have excellent stand up and are unlikely to want the fight to go anywhere near the ground. The main event is also intruiging, Franklin is still a very well rounded striker but if Liddell could roll back the years with a trademark knock out victory it would be a sensational story.

Paulo Thiago is on a growing list of welterweight contenders to have seen their journey to the top disrupted by Jon Fitch. While it still represents his only loss in 14 outings, the defeat has definitely had an adverse affect on Thiago’s marketability. His opponent Martin Kampmann is a credible welterweight contender but knockout losses to both Paul Daley and Nate Marquardt will linger long in the memory of fight fans. This is an interesting fight at best but is unlikely to persuade people to invest in this particular pay-per-view.

Ben Rothwell has lost two out of his last three fights, one of them against the rapidly declining Andrei Arlovski. Normally a fighter with this sort of recent record would be lucky to find himself on the undercard but surprisingly Rothwell’s fight with Gilbert Yvel is part of the main event. Yvel has lost two of his last three fights, and like Rothwell, will be looking for his first ever win in the UFC.

Carlos Condit has a highly credible record of 24-5 but both his UFC outings have ended in split decisions with him getting the benefit of just one. His opponent Rory MacDonald is 10-0 and will be looking for his eleventh consecutive stoppage win. MacDonald is a serious prospect and will be hoping to give the Canadian fans something to cheer about in the first televised fight of the night.

There is much to like about this card. The match up between Franklin and Liddell is fantastic and far preferable to yet another fight between Lidell and Tito Ortiz; Cro Cop will be hoping to recapture his Pride form, and at 35-years-old, still has plenty to offer as a fighter; and a star could easily be born in the up and coming Canadian, Rory Macdonald.

The problem for the UFC is that there is no sliding scale for their numbered events. Every UFC is expected to be of a similar caliber and this card simply does not have the same depth as recent UFC’s have. It should still be an entertaining event and, regardless of their respective ages, a card featuring Cro Cop, Liddell and Franklin can’t be too bad.

14 COMMENTS
  • fanoftna33 says:

    Anybody not excited about this card is crazy.
    Franklin vs Liddell may not be great but i would bet money that its a better fight than Rampage vs Evans.
    Paulo Thiago has a very tough test ahead of him and his fight with Kampmann may be one of the best of the year.
    Condit still has much to prove and i look for him to fight like it.
    The undercard has Tyson Griffen nothing more needs to be said for that.
    Plus we get to see if Yvel is truly done in modern MMA, along with Cro Cop.
    How could anybody complain about this card?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

  • MMABC15 says:

    Good article! Although I honestly think that this is going to be a great night of fights, im excited for all of these main card fights, other than Rothwell vs Yvel haha. I think Macdonald vs Condit is going to be a WAR for as long as it lasts, with Rory getting the Tko via GnP midway through the second ;)

    The Chuck vs Franklin fight is tough to say who will win, but if Franklin can keep the distance and work in some kicks I see him being very successful in this fight.

    Franklin via Unanimous D
    Berry via 2nd round Tko
    Kampmann via UD
    Yvel via Tko
    Macdonald via 2nd round tko
    Griffin via UD

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  • David Andrest says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Should be Awesome night of fights.

    Barry and Cro Cop killed it at the pre fight presser.

    Barry, ” If I win this fight, I swear I’ll go home and just stare out a window for 2 years.”

    Cro Cop later in the presser. ” He says if he wins he will stare out a window for 2 years, He may need to consider the same if he loses, with a nurse standing on his left side” ( with a smile)

    Well-Done. Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    This event merely is an appetizer. A snack for MMA fans. Because none of these fights have implications in their prospective divisions

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  • Guthookd says:

    Chuck and Rich is a good fight.

    Kampman and Thiago is a good fight.

    Barry and Cop is a good, well matched war waiting to happen.

    I never thought I’d say this but I think for once in my life I’m actually looking forward to a fight involving CC.

    As far as $55……no. But a trip to the local sport bar is in order for sure.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  • JOEgun says:

    i agree. some good fights for sure but a bit too close to the last ppv, so im hitting up my favorite sports bar instead.
    the fights may not appear too good but that almost certainly guarantees they will be exciting.
    i like it when fighters give alot more in the octagon when they hear people are talkin some smack about the card. they wanna prove people wrong.

    im a paulo thiago fan. he gets better each time out. kampman is gonna get finished by submission or tko. thats the only fight im calling. the rest are a coin flip

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Ken says:

    Are you serious? Why do people bitch about every card? Not every fight has to be a top contender, not every fighter needs to be in the mix to have a great ppv showing. Chuck and Franklin are not in contention but damn they paved the way and still deserve to headline any even period!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  • danw84 says:

    This is the kind of card that has potential to be an amazing one. A bunch of fights people talk down about because they don’t have direct implications, but it’s ALL guys who NEED to win, and are going to go out there and kill each other.

    To be honest, I find title fights lately are some of the most boring and disappointing.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • Dufresne says:

    To be honest, every cars I’ve gotten excited about lately has sucked. With the exception of Shogun v Machida. So the fact that this card looks kinda mediocre on paper with a number of aging fighters actually encourages me. It seems liike the best cards on paper (UFC 112, SF Nashville, etc…) are always big let downs while the cards with this kinda feel to them leave me smiling for a few days.

    Plus, I’m a sucker for any fight with either Franklin OR Chuck. But both of them? Yes, please.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • stone says:

    Dufresne, damn we think alike! It’s so true… The “big fights” have been let downs… everyone is just tryin to secure the belt or title shot with borring low risk techniques! Thiago vs Kampman, Barry vs CC & Rich n Chuck are for sure Bangers… If you can get 3 exciting fights on a card, then there is really no right to complain! Plus, there’s always that unexpected fight that comes thru! Seems like the UFC put a “Strikefest” card together just for the fans… I aint complaining!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • YetiLee says:

    I would have paid for Chuck vs Tito, just because it would have been Chuck and Tito. But I am not shelling out the cash for this one, I will however visit the torrent sites a few hours after.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  • LiverPunch says:

    “Anybody not excited about this card is crazy”

    I must be crazy then. Chuck vs Franlin is a battle of the has-beens. Crocop vs Barry is has-been vs a never will be. Yvel vs Rothwell is Rothwell vs a can with a punchers chance. The Condit vs McDonald fight is interesting but the only relevant fight is Kampman vs Thiago. No other fight is really that relevant to it’s respective division. A whole lot of fights that should have been split up and put on different cards to bolster or fill in the gaps of a main card and not to make up the bulk of one. I like to see relevant, top of the division fighters competing for the most part. Who is the best and the road to the top is what I want. Not just great match ups. Because you can have great match ups between guys who both suck (No offense intended Kimbo, Baroni, Yvel and Houston).
    Honestly this is not worthy of being a PPV. For me, the ave fight night cards have more appeal.
    I’m not sure if I’ll buy it but I will say I will have to be bored to order it.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • James Goyder says:

    Chuck’s already beaten Tito twice, I don’t think anyone is interested in seeing that fight again whereas Liddell vs Franklin is an interesting match up.

    There is as much chance of this card being exciting as any other, in fact there is probably more chance of it being exciting as I can’t see either of the main events going the distance.

    If the fights are great Dana White gets to say I told you so, but if the fights are disappointing fans are going to be furious. That’s the gamble you take with a card like this.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • elsicilian says:

    No title fights, and no serious contenders from any weight class anywhere on the card. None of these fights will have any sort of impact on any of the rankings (regardless of the outcome). All of the “name” fighters are years removed from title-contention, and several of them should be retired instead of fighting. There aren’t even any exciting young up-and-comers that I am particularly excited to see.

    There’s always the chance one or more of these fights could result in an exciting brawl, but none of the matchups is terribly compelling, and the results of these fights won’t really mean a whole lot tomorrow morning. Basically, this is about as close to an exhibition as I have seen from the UFC in a long time.

    I’d watch it if it was free, but there’s no way I’m dropping $50 on it.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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