Round-by-Round Recap and Analysis of Silva vs. Franklin
BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 22: (L-R) Opponents Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin face off after making weight during the UFC 147 weigh in at Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drummond on June 22, 2012 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
The first fight was an all out war that saw Rich Franklin take home a unanimous decision victory and the second fight was no different. All three judges scored the fight 49-46 for Franklin.
Silva came very close to finishing the fight in the second round, dropping Franklin with a big punch and swarming on him afterwards, but Franklin was the more consistent fighter throughout the bout, getting the better of most exchanges.
After the fight, Silva admitted that he may have gassed himself out a bit by going for the kill in the second.
Many were disappointed with this main event initially, as neither fighter is considered totally relevant in MMA today, but I think people will have come around after that performance.
Both men gave it their all and sent fans home with nothing to complain about.
Keep reading for round-by-round analysis and what's next for both fighters.
Photo courtesy of toughtalkmma.com
The crowd chants "It's Time" along withBruce Buffer. These guys are excited for the main event. Franklin receives some hearty boos and Wanderlei Silva receives a heroes welcome. Should be interesting to see how aggressive Wanderlei is off the top. The fans response must be motivating.
Both fighters tentative for the first thirty seconds. Throwing little more than feints. Wanderlei draws blood with a big right and the crowd reacts. Rich isn't phased, though, and stays calm. Rich hits a few straight lefts. Wanderlei is trying to time counters to Franklin's kicks and is coming close. A rare but solid head kick from Silva staggers Franklin. Rich answers it with a couple punches.
A couple jabs from Franklin.Silva attempts a flurry after—most of the shots don't land cleanly. Some sharp body shots from Franklin against the cage. Rich is controlling the pace right now and backing Wanderlei up. Franklin looks like he's starting to get comfortable and Wanderlei still seems a bit tentative. Another head kick from Wanderlei and the audience reacts. He goes to the well again with a third, but it's blocked.
Head kick by Rich is partially blocked. Good first round. Franklin probably took it by being busier and landing more shots. 10-9 Franklin
Wanderlei throws a leg kick and falls down. He may have hurt his foot. For now he seems to be moving okay.
Wanderlei is being a bit more aggressive this round and lands a front kick. Rich lands a big right hand and follows with a body kick. Good combination from Rich against the cage. And another good combination against the cage. Much like the first round, Rich has Wanderlei moving back. Rich tries another head kick but it's blocked.
Wanderlei lands a punch that backs Rich up a bit. Right hand from Franklin lands. Wanderlei clips Rich with a right that backs him up, but Rich answers with a jab.
Wanderlei lands a punch and Rich is hurt! Wanderlei swarms with punches and knees and eventually drops Franklin with another punch! Rich squirms and stays alive. Rich goes for a takedown, but gets reversed and Wanderlei is on top again landing punches in bunches! The fight is close to being stopped, but Rich makes it out. That easily stole the round for Wanderlei. 10-9 Silva
It's a new round and Rich seems to have recovered. Pretty even exchanges from both fighters so far, but Wanderlei is the one moving back again. Nice jab from Rich and a body kick behind it. Another body kick from Franklin. A couple quick punches from Wanderlei. Rich lands a glancing head kick and almost slips.
Another body kick from Franklin. Wanderlei seems to be having a bit of trouble with Franklin's jab. A good combination from Wanderlei. Rich answers with a body kick. Franklin snags a takedown and lands in half guard. Joe Rogan suggests that Wanderlei might have burnt himself out a bit in the previous round. Rich is landing good elbows here from side control. Franklin tries to mount, gets shrugged off. Franklin finishes the round with some heavy shots from the top. Good round for Franklin. 10-9 Franklin
Total strikes are even at the start of this round, with Franklin having a slight edge in significant strikes. Wanderlei looking a bit more aggressive. I think he knows he lost that last round. Rich with a good body shot. A right hand from Wanderlei. Rich is the one moving away more right now.
Couple jabs from Rich, followed by a straight-right. Rich with a nice left to the body. Wanderlei looks tired. He's not throwing many punches. Rich backs Silva up with a combination and Wanderlei comes forward with a retaliation. HEAVY groin kick from Wanderlei and Rich is really feeling it. He'll have time to recover.
We'll see if the quick pause has given Wanderlei any time to catch his breath. Rich is still the one using better movement and throwing more shots. Body kick from Rich, but Wanderlei counters with a nice right. Good flurry from Wanderlei at the end, but I don't think it was enough to steal the round. 10-9 Franklin
The two men embrace at the beginning of the round—great show of class.
Wanderlei looks a little tense, might be about to let loose with some heavy flurries. Now would be the time. Good jabs from Franklin as he circles Wanderlei. Wanderlei throws a head kick that misses. Franklin seems calm now, but is holding his hands a little low for my liking. Wanderlei is stalking Rich, but not landing much. Rich is peppering with jabs. Heavy right from Wanderlei just misses. A takedown from Rich would be smart.
Nice body shot from Rich and a right hand after it misses. Then a jab from Franklin. And another. Front kick from Wanderlei doesn't get through. Wanderlei motions for Rich to engange him. Now Wanderlei is getting aggressive looking to finish this fight. Stalking Franklin and throwing big shots.
Rich is moving away well. Both men are landing. Stiff right from Wanderlei. A lot of his punches are missing. For the last six seconds both men plant their feet and throw shots. Both are landing and Rich lands a big punch at the end that drops Silva to his knees. Great fight. Hard last round to score, but I'd give it Franklin because of the knockdown at the end. 10-9 Franklin.
All three judges score the fight 49-46 for the winner Rich Franklin.
What's Next for Rich Franklin?
Great win tonight in hostile territory for Franklin. Must have been nerve racking to fight Wanderlei Silva in his home country of Brazil, but Franklin performed well and kept his composure.
Before he stepped in to face Silva, Franklin was scheduled to fight Cung Le.
Now, it makes sense for him to take on the winner of Cung Le vs. Patrick Cote.
What's Next for Silva?
Honestly, retirement might be a good idea.
Silva is 36-years-old, 3-5 in the UFC, and has nothing left to prove in this sport. I can't think of a better way to go out than by putting on such a great fight in front of his countrymen.
If he does stick around for another fight, he's a hard guy to match up. Silva is one of the biggest names in the sport, but has no real claim to fighting a top fighter at this point. A second fight with Vitor Belfort is something that Wanderlei will want, but it doesn't make sense anymore.
Maybe the winner of Jake Shields vs. Ed Herman would be appropriate.