Rich Franklin Really Has Nothing to Prove
Seriously. Rich Franklin is one of the most underrated, underappreciated fighters in UFC history, but he has done everything one could expect out of him. He has fought, and beaten, legends in the sport and is yet to become the sort of drag Chuck Liddell or Tito Ortiz were since leaving their prime.
He is one of the UFC's best champions and is, rightfully, one of the fighters that Dana White chooses to highlight to MMA's naysayers. There is nothing to say about Rich Franklin that is not positive. His win tonight was just a bonus.
Wanderlei Silva Does Not Want to Stop Fighting
Dana White tried to nudge Wanderlei into the old-folks home after he was knocked out hard by Chris Leben last year. He bought himself some time by beating Cung Le, but Silva is channeling his inner-Tito Ortiz lately by calling out Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen in...ahem...less-than-flattering ways.
Right now, Silva is not in their league. He almost certainly will not fight either, especially after the loss he just suffered. But he is very intelligently playing the game and trying to keep himself relevant enough to remain on the minds of fans...he just needs to set his sights a little bit lower.
Rich Franklin Has a Remarkable Chin
Seriously. Think about Chuck Liddell toward the end of his career. Fighters that are not dedicated wrestlers like Vladimir Matyushenko rarely end up being able to take a punch once they reach a certain point.
Rich Franklin, though, ended up eating punches, kicks and knees that would have put out far younger fighters, never even mind a 37-year-old like himself. The fact that he could even stand after the onslaught in the second round shows how special a fighter he is.
Both of These Fighters Should be Commended for Their Gas Tanks
Remember Demian Maia vs. Chris Weidman? Remember how they both gassed out really, really badly after about two rounds?
Now think about how Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva, at their respective advanced ages, just put out five strong rounds each. This is to the credit of both of these legends, for sure. It should also be to the shame of the younger fighters who cannot even achieve half of this.
Dana White's Efforts to Force Out Wanderlei Silva Were Premature
The NFL is in some very hot water for their poor handling of players who had been concussed. After seeing Wanderlei Silva get put onto the mat, and stay there, was scary. No doubt.
That said, Silva clearly has something left in him, and he deserves at least one more fight, even after the loss. There is no shortage of fighters that would love the opportunity to face Wanderlei Silva, and given the fact that he was able to take a fair amount of punishment from Franklin, it is possible that he may not be as fragile as many (including this writer) thought.