Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin: Takeaways from UFC 147

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Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin: Takeaways from UFC 147
BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 23: (L-R) Rich Franklin punches Wanderlei Silva during their UFC 147 catchweight bout at Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drummond on June 23, 2012 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

For all the bad things people had to say about UFC 147, it ended up being a great night of fights.

Fans were unhappy with the pay-per-view to begin with because many of the main-card fighters were The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil finalists, which is usually something that would be televised for free.

Then Vitor Belfort was forced to pull out of the main event due to a broken hand and things really got bad.

Luckily, the UFC had an "Ace" up their sleeve, bringing in Rich Franklin on just two weeks notice for the main event against Wanderlei Silva. It was an excellent fight the first time these two MMA legends hooked 'em up and the second time was no different.

Silva and Franklin put on a fight to be proud of in front of the Belo Horizonte crowd, going toe-to-toe for most of their 25-minute fight.

Franklin was the more consistent fighter throughout the bout, but Wanderlei did come extremely close to finishing the fight in the second round—Franklin was saved by the buzzer.

Also on the card was a heavyweight mismatch in the form of Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow. Many—myself included—wondered why Werdum, who is considered by some a top-five heavyweight, was matched against Russow, who is not in the top ten.

Whatever the thinking was, it was a lopsided fight and totally dominated by Werdum, who earned a first-round TKO.

After the fight, Werdum called out UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos, who has already defeated Werdum. Given how much his striking has improved, I agree that Werdum should be considered for another shot—after he gets one more win over a top competitor.

We also crowned the first-ever winners of TUF: Brazil—Rony Mariano Bezerra (featherweight) and Cezar Ferreira (middleweight). Both fighters looked impressive in victory and will be welcome additions to their respective divisions—featherweight and middleweight are two of the UFC's weaker divisions and always in need of contenders.

We can take a lot of things away from UFC 147:

  • At 3-5 in the UFC, it might be time for Wanderlei Silva to hang 'em up.
  • Rich Franklin has a couple fights left in him.
  • Fabricio Werdum has legitimately improved a lot since his first loss to JDS and might deserve another shot at him.
  • The featherweight and middleweight divisions have gained some talented new fighters that will hopefully add some depth.

Most importantly, we can take away that UFC 147 was a great night of fights, despite many thinking it would be one of the worst cards in years.

UFC president Dana White often says, "If you're a fight fan, you like watching fights," and rarely has that sentiment been more applicable.

The card might not have had all the biggest names, and pay-per-view numbers will likely be low, but UFC 147 was fun to watch. I don't think anyone who did purchase it regrets the decision.

 

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a stand-up comedian. Check him out on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.

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