Three years after former champions Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva treated the UFC 99 crowd in Cologne, Germany to a 3-round war, culminating in ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, the two men will step back in the Octagon opposite one another in what will be he pair’s second catchweight bout at UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
In a pre-fight interview produced by the UFC, Franklin shared his thoughts on the upcoming rematch, as well as the key to beating Silva’s unique style, something Franklin likened to a tornado.
“The best way to describe Wanderlei’s fighting style, is like fighting a tornado: As long as you stay away from a tornado, you’re safe, but if you get too close to the tornado, it does damage,” said the 13-year MMA veteran, Franklin.
“When you come in, he pulls the trigger. And when he pulls the trigger, things fly. He’s throwing multiple punches with his hands, following things up with knees, and he’s dangerous.”
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Franklin has likely seen his fair share of tornados. According to “Ace,” the key to defeating this one in particular is fighting his own fight, where he is comfortable with the pace.
“The best way for me to finish this fight is to not get lazy in the fight and caught up in his game.”
Fighting for the first time in over a year, Franklin promised fans he has plenty of motivation coming into this fight with Silva, despite any apparent title implications for either fighter.
“It’s been 16 months since I’ve been in the Octagon, so I’m excited to fight again and I’m hungry.”
Franklin and Silva square off in a catchweight bout, set for 195 lbs., June 23 as the main event for the PPV portion of UFC 147.