At first, I thought UFC 97 was an excellent card…basing this solely on how poor UFC 96 looked. However, I generated this opinion only on the main event and co-main event. Now that I take a look at the full card, I’m scratching my head and wondering if I should even shell out the $45 to watch this. Sure, there are other options for me to see it but nowadays I usually enjoy it more if I’m sitting in my living room with a plate of wings and a nice cold mixed drink (preferably vodka & any juice or Red bull). So looking at the card, we have three light heavyweight bouts, one heavyweight fight, and a middleweight title bout. Now I enjoy the heavier weights but I would’ve been happy if they maybe let Brian Stann & Krzysztof Soszynski (good Lord at trying to spell that name without help) go to the prelims and maybe up Ed Herman/David Loiseau or even Jason MacDonald/Nate Quarry...something other than that fight. Anyways let’s take a look at UFC 97 and how it could potentially be another UFC 73.
- Too many heavier weight bouts. I know that’s nothing to gripe about but when you have the aforementioned bouts plus Denis Kang (although I know why he’s relegated down to the prelims); you want to put a fight in that will both be explosive and intriguing. I just don’t see Luiz Cane/Steve Cantwell as a main card bout on a pay-per-view.
- The gap in skill in some of these fights. Now I know the old adage in MMA that any fighter can beat any fighter on any given night. While that is true, some fans don’t expect that to happen sometimes, myself included. Thales Leites is a great and formidable middleweight but he has no business being in a main event fight against Anderson Silva, no less for the middleweight title. Sure he’s been red hot in the UFC but of his two ‘high profile’ fights, those being against then top middleweight Martin Kampmann & former contender Nate Marquardt, he’s been toppled in both. Thanks to some sketchy point deductions, Leites got a lucky win over Nate who was manhandling him throughout their UFC 85 bout. Kampmann also bested him and looked pretty solid in doing so. Sure MMA math doesn’t count for much but when you’re speaking of one of the pound for pound best, it definitely does. Not only the Silva/Leites fight but I also feel the Cane/Cantwell fight is extremely one-sided. Seriously, if Cantwell can’t handle Stann’s power…he’s a goner against Cane.
- We’re in a recession! Now I’m not struggling for cash, but at the same time I can’t afford to waste any. I’m one of those people that will get almost any UFC PPV just because. The handful of events that I didn’t order were either one of the ones overseas or just plain sucked (UFC 72). Now I know I could always go to a bar and watch it but here in Greensboro, unfortunately, the good places to go have stopped showing UFC PPVs. In fact, the only place I know of now is Hooters and I don’t like their wings.
Maybe I’m not making my case, but on paper, this card seems kinda weak. Outside of the Chuck/Shogun match up (which I think will be UGGGLY in a bad way) and maybe Cheick Kongo/Antoni Hardonk (mostly because it HAS to be a stand up war), nothing else is really intriguing or none of the other main card fights seem competitive in my opinion. What do you think? Will you buy UFC 97?