Nothing personal, just business.
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin is calling on the man who dethroned him, current 185-pound deity Anderson Silva, to help prepare him for Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99 according to the Journal-News.com.
Franklin (24-4) is coming off a split decision loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 93 in a monster 205-pound showdown from the O2 Arena in Dublin, Ireland, back on January 17.
Prior to being edged out by Hendo, "Ace" was perfect inside the Octagon, save for two crushing defeats at the hands of "The Spider" at UFC 77: "Hostile Territory" back in 2007 and UFC 64: "Unstoppable" a year before that.
Franklin may be a gifted striker and former UFC champ, but he's not taking any chances against "The Axe Murderer" come June 13 -- even if it means putting an end to the recent happy-talk between him and Wanderlei.
Despite their upcoming throwdown, the two enjoyed the typical schmaltzy love-fest that some fighters employ to show how much they respect their opponent, including praise of their skills, etc. Franklin even had plans to train at Wandy's gym in Las Vegas following their fight.
If this report is accurate, Wanderlei may soon renege on that invitation.
Wandy was critical of Anderson Silva's most recent performance against Thales Leites at UFC 97, and prior to that declared war on the "cocky" champ after Anderson said Wandy was "pretentious" for moving down to middleweight for a possible piece of the 185-pound pie.
I also heard that Ed Soares was spreading rumors about him during study hall.
Anyway, Anderson and Wanderlei have been slinging mud lately, and now Ace wants to jump in and get his hands dirty.
Perhaps it's to play mind games with he who murders with Axe? Or maybe Jorge Gurgel's right-hand man simply wants the inside scoop from Wandy's old Chute Boxe training partner?
I have a feeling this isn't the last we've heard from any of these guys.