UFC 147: Rich Franklin Talks Upcoming Wanderlei Silva Bout
Originally slated to face off against Cung Le at UFC 148, middleweight, light heavyweight and catchweight UFC veteran Rich Franklin has agreed to slide into UFC 147's main event and have a rematch with Brazilian legend Wanderlei Silva, according to ESPN.
Franklin and Silva first faced off back in June of 2009 when Franklin earned the nod from all three judges in a relatively close contest.
Since that time, both guys have amassed just three fights each with Silva going 2-1 and Franklin going 1-2.
Franklin supplants an injured Vitor Belfort as half of the night's main attraction and will look to successfully return to the 185-pound division after mixing it up at 205, most recently with Forrest Griffin.
Though ready to return to the division that he once ruled over, Franklin is less than certain a second tussle with Silva is the best thing for him.
Yesterday, BJPenn.com caught up with Franklin who had this to say about the switch.
"Initially, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to fill in this spot. I was in Singapore on the complete opposite side of the earth preparing for a specific kind of opponent. My prep was cut 2 weeks, and I had to get on a plane IMMEDIATELY to come home and make adjustments necessary.
"I’ve been home a day and a half, and we have yet to do a tape breakdown on Wand again. That’s like night and day. Southpaw to Conventional, aggressive vs. passive, and their styles are completely different."
The logistical complications Franklin faces in returning to the United States in order to properly prep for Silva are doubly troublesome when you consider that his purpose for being in Singapore in the first place was to train against sparring partners capable of replicating Cung Le's style.
While the opponent swap is understandably frustrating for Franklin, the UFC veteran is taking it in stride.
"I've learned not to try to predict my future opponents in this sport," he told BJPenn.com.
On the bright side, the move to main event only heightens the importance of the fight for Rich, and a win in a main event is never a bad thing to put on a resume.
UFC 147 is set for June 23 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
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