Wanderlei Silva (L) and Rich Franklin (R) exchange punches at UFC 99. Photo courtesy of Getty Images via UFC.com.
Former PRIDE FC Middleweight (205 pounds) champion and current UFC 185-pound contender Wanderlei Silva will step into the Octagon on June 23, 2012, to take on Rich Franklin for a second time in what will mark fight number 47 in his 16-year mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
After an injury to Vitor Belfort, who blitzed through "The Axe Murderer" in 44 seconds way back in 1996, scrapped the much-anticipated rematch, Silva now looks to even another score against "Ace" in the headlining bout of UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Showing signs of the savage who wreaked havoc in Japan during his prime while with PRIDE against Cung Le at UFC 139, demolishing the SanSho specialist with his brutal Muay Thai technique, Silva looks to keep his momentum going and pick up consecutive victories for the first time since 2006. It won't be easy, however, as Franklin already has one up on Silva after defeating him at UFC 99 three years ago via unanimous decision in a "Fight of the Night" performance.
This time, however, Silva looks to avoid the judges' scorecards altogether, but is prepared to go a full 25 minutes if need be.
Speaking to MMA Weekly, the Brazilian bomber talked about the upsetting news of Belfort's injury, his upcoming bout with Franklin and whether or not he will have added pressure fighting on his own home turf of Brazil.
Check it out:
"It makes me feel terrible man. That's the main event over here, I train three months for that fight. I was ready for that fight. I just lost like 30 pounds for that fight, 15 kilos. I was ready for that fight and I look at my Twitter, Vitor broke his hand. I can't believe it. But it happens, but I'm happy they give me another really good fighter against Franklin. Of course I want to fight with him (Vitor), I was ready to fight with him Saturday, but, there will be a next time."
After coming up short on the judges scorecard in his first encounter against Franklin, Silva aims for a finish, but is prepared to go a full 25 minutes if the occasion arises:
"It's a really good fight for me. I need to prove did I beat him in the other fight. I don't know. This time I need to beat him before the fight finishes, I don't want to leave this fight in the judge's hand again. I don't want decision, but if (it goes to decision) it is going to be for me. He is a good fighter. He is southpaw, he's got good punches really good kicks, he is a complete guy. I prepared for a war , I prepared for five rounds and I am ready for those five rounds."
Silva will enjoy a home field advantage of sorts, fight in Brazil for the first time in twelve years. As far as extra added pressure of fighting in front of his family and friends goes, "The Axe Murderer" says it is all the same regardless of where he fights:
"No, whatever, if I fight here (Brazil), Germany, Australia, America, the pressure is the same. I love the pressure, with that kind of pressure I fight better. I have a lot of pressure in all of my fights. Right now, all the fights I need to prove that I'm still a really good fighter and give a really good show"
Whats your take Maniacs, can Silva even the score with "company man" Rich Franklin in his backyard? Or will Rich make it a clean sweep?