Rich Franklin “Happy to be Back” And Fighting Wanderlei Silva For Five Rounds
By FCF Staff
Recently the UFC announced that former middleweight champion Rich Franklin had agreed to step in for the injured Vitor Belfort at UFC 147, and will fight Wanderlei Silva in the Brazil bound main event. While Franklin was already preparing for a July 7th bout with Cung Le, the fact that he will know fight Silva on June 23rd, for five rounds instead of three, wasn’t an issue.
“I’m happy to be back, and in a big fight. I was happy it was five rounds,” Franklin was quoted saying in a press release from the promotion. “I didn’t ask for it to be three rounds. Fighting five rounds is more about how you pace the fight, not what you do in training.”
Of course, Franklin and Silva met before in June, 2009, and Franklin was awarded the unanimous decision in what was an entertaining and competitive fight.
“The first fight [at UFC 99] was great, and I think a lot of fans will be expecting another great fight,” the 37 year-old Franklin noted, who is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin last February. “Wanderlei fought me tooth and claw when we went at it in Germany, and he’ll be even more motivated fighting in front of the Brazilian fans.”
Franklin (28-6), who is 2-3 in his last 5 fights, will meet Silva at 190 pounds for the upcoming bout. The 35 year-old-middleweight is coming off a stoppage win over Cung Le, after Silva was quickly KO’d by Chris Leben last July.
Since he fought Franklin at UFC 99, Silva (34-11-1) has gone 2-1, with an additional win coming by unanimous decision versus Michael Bisping in February, 2010.
“I think Wanderlei is a different fighter than he was when we fought at UFC 99, and I think I am too. But I think every fighter is different fight to fight. How I fight one night is different to how I fight the next time I am in the Octagon. That said, you pretty much know what he’s going to do and you pretty much know what I am going to do in there. I think the first fight showed our styles match up for a great fight. I’m ready for Wanderlei and Brazil.”
UFC 147 will be hosted by the Mineirinho Arena, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.