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UFC Fight Breakdown: Rich Franklin vs. Anderson Silva
UFC News
MMA News Written by Arnold Lim - The Sushiboy   
Thursday, 18 October 2007

ImageRich Franklin will get a shot to avenge the second loss of his career against the best striker in the UFC middleweight class in Anderson Silva. The current MW champion and former Chute Boxe member is set to defend his UFC title on American soil in Franklin’s home town of Cincinnati. It must have been a bit of a slap in the face for the champ to be taken there for a title defense, but considering there are currently no UFC events taking place in Brazil I guess if it had to be anywhere the UFC made as good a choice as any. One thing to remember, Franklin is still much better known fighter, despite not being the champion anymore. With his multiple prominent UFC appearances as well as his stint as coach on the Ultimate Fighter 2 he is as well known as anyone at MW, on the other hand, Silva doesn’t even speak English. You would have to think that from a marketing perspective the UFC would love to have someone like Franklin in there before a fighter like Silva, but that is neither here nor there, here are my keys to victory.

ImageSilva’s keys to victory: Everyone knows what happened the first time, when the fight got into the close proximity clinch Silva dominated the fight punishing Franklin to the body. After getting his body broken down with vicious knee’s Franklin’s posture began to crumble and Silva went to the face with the knee’s as his body drooped. At this point the fight was all but over. This will again be a key point for Silva, in the Muay Thai clinch the heavy advantage has to go to the champion. Interestingly enough Franklin thought going into the first fight that he would dominate the inside, but he was sorely mistaken. You would have to think that one of the most intelligent cerebral fighters out there is going to key in on this area in training. My bet is he will but will it be enough? Silva’s long arms and legs are also great tools, he has had knockout head kicks in the past but his bread and butter is his great jab and vicious knee’s, stick to those keys and he could drive away with the win.

Image Franklin’s Keys to victory: I think he will want to play on the outside with him for a little bit until he can take him down and work to pound him out from the top. Silva is no slouch on the mat but you would have to give a ground and pound advantage to Franklin in this fight. I don’t feel he will look for a submission, and I think that from a pure submission perspective Silva has got to be as good or better then Franklin, he is a black belt under former Pride fighter Rodrigo Nogueira. But despite his triangle choke victory over Lutter he didn’t look especially impressive off his back in that fight and if anything also proved that he can be taken down and there in lies his biggest weakness, his takedown defense. I think Franklin will be the bigger fighter, in fact Silva fought in Shooto at under 170 lbs and Franklin moved down from 205 so I think he will probably get taken down at some point during the fight and potentially muscle his way to a good position on the floor.

X Factor: Silva has not fought for 25 minutes in his career. That is an advantage that Franklin will have over him as he has done it before and proven he has the stamina to go to the well when need be. Silva may have that stamina or he may not, every fighter can say whatever he wants but until they prove it in the Octagon it means little. I give the slight edge here to Franklin.

Image My Pick: I am going to go with Franklin on this one. I actually think that Silva has more tools to win this fight but I just don’t think that Franklin should have even fought Silva the first time coming off a broken hand and injured foot in his bout with David Loiseau. The first time I took Silva and although I picked right I didn’t see him demolishing him like he did. I think Franklin will pick his shots from the outside, using his footwork to take it easy in the early goings and try to grind it out to the championship rounds. Interestingly he did surprisingly well in the boxing department with Silva in the early goings of the fight until it got into the clinch so he may even play the boxing game with him. I think that Franklin will take this one via decision after 5 rounds and set up the rubber match for late 2008.

My Percentage: 60 % Franklin, 40% Silva.

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