Their last fight went to the scorecards, with Franklin coming out victorious. Instead of being able to learn from his mistakes and hold the fate of this fight in his own hands, Silva once again let the judges decide.
And once again it didn't work out for him.
Silva rocked Franklin toward the end of the second round and almost had the former champion beat, but Franklin would ride out the storm the remainder of the round and survived the onslaught.
That would be the last time Silva would control this bout.
Franklin would slowly climb back into the fight and began scoring points with solid strikes and a few key take downs. It was Franklin's pace that was the difference in this fight as a clearly gassed Silva had used all his energy trying to knock Franklin out in the second round.
Silva would make one last-ditch effort to save the fight, but to no avail. Franklin took the victory and thus begins his march back to the front of the middleweight division for one final title run.
The loss for Silva was a harsh reminder that he will never be the fighter he once was. Silva didn't have much gas in the tank to begin with and was outworked by Franklin in nearly ever round. Franklin was the quicker fighter and easily controlled the pace of this fight.
Once Silva exerted all his energy into whiffing at a knockout against Franklin, "The Axe Murderer" slowed down considerably and proved he is but a one-trick pony. From there on, the once-vibrant Silva changed from hopeful to hopeless all in the span of a round.
Even before his second-round exploits, Silva wasn't moving well. The near knockout only made it worse. He looked old and slow for the rest of the fight, making it easy for Franklin to score points and take the decision.
Silva is now 2-4 in his last six fights and doesn't have a very promising future ahead of him. This loss will undoubtedly send him back to the bottom of the barrel in the division and dash any career-ending title hopes he might have had.
At this point, The Axe Murderer doesn't have much reason left to fight other than money. There is nothing left to realistically accomplish, nor is there anything to prove.
Silva has defeated some of the greatest fighters ever to step into an MMA ring. He is a first-ballot Hall of Famer in the UFC as well as any other fighting organization he has been in.
The last thing his fans want to see is for their favorite fighter to get his brains beat in over and over again. Losing to Rich Franklin isn't exactly something to be proud of since Franklin is at the tail end of his career as well.
Silva is no more than a measuring stick for new fighters coming into the UFC and that is a far cry from what the former champion used to be. It's time to go out with dignity.
What better time than now for The Axe Murderer?