Fighting before his home country fans in Brazil in the main event of UFC 147 Saturday night, Wanderlei Silva almost gave them what they came for with a vicious second round assault of Rich Franklin. But after weathering the storm, Franklin resumed control of the fight at Mineirinho Arena and secured a five round unanimous decision win, his second over Silva.
All three judges saw it 49-46 for Franklin, who had defeated Silva at UFC 99 in June in 2009.
After a brief feeling out process, Silva struck first with an overhand right, but Franklin – who replaced the injured Vitor Belfort on short notice - responded with a couple straight lefts that made “The Axe Murderer” reset his offense. Franklin’s accurate 1-2s began to come more and more frequent as the round continued, and he made sure he got out of range before Silva retaliated, even though the former PRIDE champ did score with a hard head kick in the final minute.
Franklin began feinting more in round two, trying to lure his foe into a mistake, and soon, Silva was bleeding and getting caught more and more. Of course, with Silva, all it takes is one haymaker to get him back into the fight, and he was still not reluctant to unleash his shots, with a hard combination finding a home with two minutes left. 30 seconds later, Silva scored with a flush right hand, but Franklin didn’t blink. That wasn’t the case when Silva dropped Franklin with another right, but despite a ferocious follow up attack, “Ace” was able to make it out of the round.
It was now a new fight in round three, but Franklin didn’t look any worse for wear after the previous frame’s assault. The Cincinnati native pressed forward, landing the occasional shot – particularly a body kick - as the fairly inactive Silva waited for a chance to counter. With under a minute left, Franklin scored the first takedown of the fight, and he ended the round with a furious series of ground strikes.
Franklin (29-6, 1 NC) fought at a very disciplined pace in round four, pumping out his southpaw jab while mixing in left hands, and Silva seemed out of gas after emptying his clip in his second round attempt to finish the former middleweight champ. A low kick from Silva brought a brief break for both fighters, and the Curitiba native had a late jolt of energy, but not enough to get Franklin in trouble again.
Knowing that movement and smart, technical striking were the keys to closing out the fight in style, Franklin did just that in round five, scoring and staying busy, but making sure he was gone when the hooks started flying. Silva (34-12-1, 1 NC) stalked, but seemed too tired to pull the trigger. That changed in the final minute, as he waved to the crowd for support and began winging haymakers. Franklin refused to get into a firefight until the final 10 seconds, when he dropped Silva with a short left at the bell to end the bout.
Franklin Survives Second Round Storm, Decisions Wandy Again - UFC 147 Main Event Results
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