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Countdown to UFC 99 sets up Wand vs Anderson

The UFC’s countdown shows are getting better and better. They’re still nowhere near as slick as HBO’s 24/7 series but then again if they tried to weave a 24/7 tale for every event it would get old fast. Instead, they’ve hit a nice balance where they stuff the show full of hype for the entire card and explore some interesting angles. Last night they spent 10 of the 20 minutes devoted to Wanderlei Silva vs Rich Franklin on the feud brewing between Wanderlei and Anderson.

Rome thinks the UFC is falling over itself trying to set up a battle of the Silvas, and I can’t disagree. Dana White did everything short of guaranteeing the fight if Wand manages to get past Rich Franklin. It even kinda looks like a win wasn’t the essential ingredient in the equation since the Countdown show also declared several times that “Wanderlei’s style is kill or be killed – it doesn’t matter if he wins or loses.” Eeeeeh, after going 1-4, it kinda does to me.

Dana White has rarely let the title ladder get in the way of setting up big business fights, so you might as well get ready for this fight to happen sooner or later, one way or another. The simplest (but in my opinion least likely) way for this to go down is for Wanderlei to take Rich Franklin out this Saturday. But even if he just manages to last long enough to not embarrass himself (Jesus, I sound like a total Wand-hater here but I can’t help it, I expect him to eat it hard), I’m betting a fight with another former ‘contender’ like Patrick Cote will ‘throw him back into title contention.’

Everything is going to be pretty uncertain until we see what happens at UFC 99. But one thing is for sure even now: Yushin Okami ain’t getting his title shot. Ever!