Rich Franklin has reached out to middleweight king Anderson Silva, the man that slapped him silly twice, to prepare for his UFC 99 scrap against Wanderlei Silva. With the two Silvas at odds, the line in the sand has been drawn, and Rich has already picked his side.
“My decision to come out to L.A. was made way before that feud ever really started,” Franklin said. “(Anderson’s manager) Ed Soares called me and invited me to come out and train with Anderson, but this was before any of the Internet chatter was going on back and forth between Anderson and Wanderlei.”
Anderson recently called Wanderlei’s decision to enter his 185-pound division “pretentious,” and welcomed a future fight against his former training partner.
Wandy fired back by stating Franklin can train with whoever he wants, come June 13th the former UFC middleweight champ will be eating leather regardless. After that, he will be hunting for the champ.
With his career at a crossroads, Franklin was simply searching for ways to improve his MMA game. He didn’t intend to get caught in the middle of an ugly feud, but he knows where his loyalties lie.
“I’m a never-say-never guy, but with me coming out here to Anderson’s camp and all that stuff, those lines have been drawn basically,” Franklin said of the possibility of a third bout between the two. “With Anderson helping me out, I would never do anything to cross that line. Basically, I feel like he’s gone out on the limb for me, so I wouldn’t – with the bad blood between them (Anderson and Wanderlei), I would never turn around and go the opposite direction, so to speak.”
And what is a typical training day with the world’s deadliest striker like?
“Really, thing are still pretty much the same,” Franklin said. “We go into the gym, we train, and it’s just business. I just get the benefit of working with Anderson some. … And most of the time, it’s essentially a classroom environment with Anderson teaching all the students, but he makes some one-on-one time so we can work on things.”
It takes a lot to ask the man that jacked your title from you to help you get better, but that is exactly what the proud Franklin did. He loves to fight and will do anything to prolong his obsession.
Let’s see if he is still enjoying it when he meets the former PrideFC champ at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany.