Rich Franklin’s win over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99 was controversial at the very least, and spectacular at its very best. So what exactly does this W really mean for the former UFC middleweight champ’s future inside the Octagon?
With his window slammed shut in the UFC’s 185-pound weight class by every knee to the grill he received from Anderson Silva, Franklin knows he has to move up in weight, including at 195-pounds if that becomes an option, if he wants to be a champion again.
“This is more doable for me. If there was a 195-pound weight class, it would be perfect,” Franklin said after his 195-lb. catch weight bout against Wanderlei. “Until then, I guess I’ll stick around at 205.”
Most were shocked that Franklin and Silva went the distance, while many were surprised Franklin pulled out the unanimous decision victory.
It appears the last-minute takedown Franklin scored to end the final round may have earned him the nod. Although it worked in his favor, going to the cards was not the former champ’s strategy, especially since he dropped a tough split decision to Dan Henderson in his last outing at UFC 93.
“After my last fight in Dublin, it was a disappointment going to a decision,” said Franklin. “I didn’t want to go to a decision again, but Wanderlei’s way too strong of a fighter.”
Both fighters showed tremendous heart throughout the 15-minute affair as each starred defeat dead in the face and came out swinging, on multiple occasions as a matter of fact.
The only disappointing aspect of the tussle was that, although both had multiple opportunities, neither fighter was able to finish the other off.
Franklin was hoping that, even if it was at a catch weight, an impressive win over the former Pride FC 205-pound king would put him in the mix as one of the top contenders in the UFC’s most coveted division.
Although it didn’t roll out exactly as he hoped, Franklin didn’t do anything to hurt his spot on the UFC’s deep light heavyweight totem pole. However, his exact position in the pecking order is yet to be determined.
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