Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin: Silva Must Keep Fighting Despite UFC 147 Loss

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJune 25, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 30:  Mixed martial artist Wanderlei Silva arrives at the Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 at the Palms Casino Resort November 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Yes, Wanderlei Silva lost via unanimous decision to Rich Franklin at UFC 147. 

No, the Axe Murderer should not hang up his gloves just yet.

Despite his loss—and the fact that the image of Ace's left fist connecting with Silva's face to wobble his knees and send him halfway to the mat as the final horn sounded will be forever engraved in fans' minds—it is not Silva's time to go yet.

The downward trend is concerning for Silva, who has lost seven of his last 10 fights, but he has not been manhandled. Disregard his inexplicably embarrassing loss to Chris Leben and Silva has put on some of the most exciting shows in recent UFC history.

He's 35 years old and is certainly on the verge of running the well dry in terms of his ability to compete, but he has one left in him. It wouldn't be fitting for the UFC fans' last memory of the Axe Murderer to be him heading towards the mat.

Silva has provided the sport with too much carnage and brutality for him not to go out with a victory. His loss to Franklin was named Fight of the Night. So was his last knockout victory against Cung Le. He beat Michael Bisping in a fight that went the distance. His first loss to Franklin was also named Fight of the Night.

Prior to that it was his Knockout of the Year against Keith Jardine and a Fight of the Night loss to Chuck Liddell. His losses have come against formidable opponents for the most part, and there's no reason for him to pack it in after his loss to Franklin.

This is not the familiar situation that we have all witnessed when the washed up veteran thinks he still has something left in the tank and gets completely dominated in the last few fights of his career before he is too humiliated to come back out for another.

This is Silva—a great fighter—running into other great fighters.

He floored Franklin in Round 2 with a right but was not able to finish him off. That in itself is disheartening, as his ability to finish his opponents off once he smells blood has become his calling card since he burst onto the scene. But don't forget that Franklin could not finish him off when he took Silva to the ground.

Silva had plenty of opportunities to win this fight, but he could not get it done against a fighter that so many have failed to do the same.

The Axe Murderer is surely on his way out, but we need to wait for another fight to decide exactly when he will be walking out of the octagon for the final time.