Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin recovered from an early onslaught by Wanderlei Silva to score a second decision victory over the ex-Pride champion Saturday night at UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin II.
Franklin picked Silva apart with his jabs and low kicks, keeping “The Axe Murderer” from mounting much offense. “Ace” even dropped Silva late in the fifth round of intense action.
Franklin made his return to the Octagon for the first time since 2011 when he lost to Forrest Griffin. He spent several months on the sidelines due to a torn labrum, and was switched from a planned bout with Cung Le to replace Vitor Belfort and face Silva.
“There was so much on this fight for me,” Franklin said. “I was training for Cung, but took this fight when the UFC asked. Maybe I can make a title run before I retire.”
Franklin admitted that he didn’t remember much after the second round attack Silva put on him, as he was rocked by a big right hand that floored him.
“I remember my corner saying, ‘It’s the fifth round,'” Franklin said. “When that kind of stuff happens, you remember bits and pieces.”
Silva was trying to string together a win streak after his victory over Le last year. He admitted that he, “pushed it a bit too much,” trying to finish Franklin early in the fight.