According to a number of MMA websites I frequent, including this one, UFC 139 has been grossly underhyped by the UFC. The headlining fight features two legends of the sport, known for their brutal finishes and "epic" fights. If that's not enough, the co-headliner features fan favorite and perennial get-knocked-out artist Wanderlei Silva, fighting against movie star and possibly untested Cung Le. I mean no malice in my characterization of Wanderlei as someone who gets knocked out frequently; he's a personal favorite of mine. It's just that, you know...he gets knocked out...often. IF THAT'S NOT ENOUGH, you've got a bout with title implications written all over it: Champion vs. Champion, the California Kid vs. The Brian Bowles. I'm psyched. You should be as well.
Granted, hardcore fans know that this card will be epic. Do casuals? No, probably not, I would imagine. Thankfully, Spike TV has provided us with a UFC Unleashed marathon on Saturday that evidences just how epic UFC 139 has the potential to be. I submit that, tomorrow, Spike will unleash some of the most epic fights from the UFC fight library.
Let's go down the line. Spike's UFC Unleashed chunk begins at 1 PM. I'll list the fights relevant to the card, although the other fights Spike decided to air are fantastic as well.
1PM: Martin Kampmann? OH YEAH!
Martin Kampmann vs. Drew McFedries. Are you ready for a great fight? Watch as Martin Kampmann wins one of his best fights, and adds another notch in the highlight reel.
Stephan Bonnar vs. Krystof Soszynski
Check this out- not the high point of my argument, admittedly, but a good fight nonetheless
3PM: Things get cooking
Wanderlei Silva vs. Michael BIsping
Wanderlei fans, unite! Watch as Wanderlei ruins the guy we love to hate. A late guillotine in the second, and a near KO in the third make this one of Wanderlei's more exciting fights as of late (that he wins).
4PM: Here comes Hendo!
Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin
A tough match for me. Rich Franklin, my favorite fighter, fighting Dan Henderson, an MMA legend. This is a fight not to be missed- some great back and forth action, with a close split decision at the end.
5PM: Who's that Japanese fella?
Shogun vs. Bones
A difficult fight for me personally to watch, but an incredible fight nonetheless. Obviously you've all seen it. If you'd like to see it again, watch it. I will. Watch as Jones brutally destroys a pride-era fighter. Watch as a personal favorite, who has never been knocked out, signifies with a tap of the hands "no mas". Watch it.
6PM: America, Fuck Yeah!
Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping
The KO from UFC 100 that has probably been played, in gif form or on tv, more than any other KO in MMA's short history. Although you probably won't see it in this version, Bisping's corner chastises him for circling into Hendo's appropriately named H-Bomb. In Bisping's infinite wisdom, he decides "screw that, what do my coaches know?", and obliges a nuclear weapon with his chin.
7PM: So we've seen that Japanese fellow get beat up...but is he any good?
Shogun vs. Machida, Round 2.
I realize that my sassy Japanese title doesn't quite work, since Lyoto Machida is of Japanese dissent, but uh...
Watch as Shogun gets vindication for a decision that didn't quite go his way last time. Conscious of his disputed loss, Shogun comes out with a fire under his ass (as of old), and knocks Machida through the canvas. Not quite a walk-off KO, Shogun does realize what he's done, and begins to get off Machida before the ref stops the fight. If you watch one episode...watch this one.
And there you have it. These fights feature some of the great skirmishes of the fan-favorites we'll see tomorrow. If you have some free time on Saturday, these are not to be missed. But more importantly to me, they back up my argument- that tomorrow is going to be an epic event. Shogun. Wanderlei. SHOGUN. WANDERLEI. A year ago, a card like the would have been heralded as a gift from Dana White. Now, granted, these guys have had some dips in their career- but I have a feeling we're going to be treated to one of the most epic shows of the year.
You get the idea.