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Monday, 06/04/2012, 07:56 am

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EXCLUSIVE | Rich Franklin Talks Replacing Vitor Against Silva, Le


Call him what you want but Rich Franklin is a company man. Initially scheduled to face Cung Le at UFC 148, Franklin now faces Wanderlei Silva in the main event of UFC 147 after Wanderlei’s opponent Vitor Belfort was injured. Rich has stepped up and filled spots before, but his fight with Le was to be his first officially back in the UFC middleweight division. Not to mention that his new opponent is one of the best strikers in MMA history – who Franklin already faced and won a very close decision over. Rich has never backed down from a fight, but his decision on taking this fight with Silva on short notice wasn’t easy.

“Initially, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to fill in this spot”, Franklin said. “I was in Singapore on the complete opposite side of the earth preparing for a specific kind of opponent. My prep was cut 2 weeks, and I had to get on a plane IMMEDIATELY to come home and make adjustments necessary”.

Franklin had been overseas training and bringing in opponents that had styles closely resembling Cung Le’s. Like Franklin told BJpenn.com earlier this month, “Cung is an entirely different kind of opponent”. With the change of opponents coming in the middle of his preparations for Le, Rich felt he has to move quickly.

“I’ve been home a day and a half, and we have yet to do a tape breakdown on Wand again. That’s like night and day. Southpaw to Conventional, aggressive vs. passive, and their styles are completely different”.

Every fighter changes and evolves from fight to fight. Wanderlei may not be the fighter he was in Pride, but he is still dangerous. Rich knows what it takes to beat Silva from their first encounter, and he also knows that Wanderlei now knows what he brings to the table. Rich is a smart fighter who gets to know his opponents beforehand even the second time around.

“Again, I need to look at the tapes on him”, said Rich. “The core of a fighter will remain the same, but I need to evaluate whether or not Wanderlei has developed any new tricks in his game that he didn’t have the last time we fought”.

The same problem of a change in opponents could be challenging Wanderlei’s camp. Unlike the change from Le to Silva, Rich doesn’t see much difference between he and Silva’s former opponent Vitor Belfort.

“In my opinion, not much honestly”, said Franklin. “We are both well rounded southpaw strikers, so in that sense the switch is a bit advantageous for Wand. If I didn’t think I could win this fight, I would not have accepted it”.

Franklin also told BJPenn.com earlier this month that the Le fight interested him, and that he was looking forward to it. Rich has almost always been a ‘go with the flow’ type of guy so when asked if he thought he would get the chance to face Le anytime soon, Rich laughed.

“I’ve learned not to try to predict my future opponents in this sport”.

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15 Comments to EXCLUSIVE | Rich Franklin Talks Replacing Vitor Against Silva, Le

  1. jake says:

    Ufc 147 is the worst ppv card of all time I cant see any reason to pay for this the free UK ufc cards are better than this this ppv will have an all time low buy rate.

    • Jujitsu Player says:

      Agreed, Rich Franklin (as nice as he is…) as main event fight…..it’s 2012 right?!? I’m definitely not paying $60 for this…

  2. Michael hamlin says:

    This will be the weakest card of all time it better be free or only a stupid ass would pay 60 dollars for that weak ass card!!

  3. dante040 says:

    In all honesty Franklin vs silva looks like a much more competitve fight then belfort

  4. Mike cannon jr says:

    Any time wand fights…. It’s exciting.. .. I thought he beat Franklin the first fight… And was robbed…. So did the crowd……

  5. Clay says:

    I used to like rich Franklin until he fought chuck liddell and was throwIng cheapshots at the end like an emotional bitch

  6. Scotty says:

    Its a tough finale card with 3 big name on the card, not even close to a PPV card.. Only poeple i see buying this is bars/restaurants who play every UFC ppv card.. Or people who really dont care about 55 bucks.. Other than that, the card wont be good for PPV buys but they will make up for it at UFC 148 so i dont think the UFC really cares..

    • danielrchargers says:

      TUF is short for the The Ultimate Fighter not grr man “tough”. but i am sure its gonna be a “tough” finale for the fighters.
      glad to have spread my useless knowledge over the inter-web.

  7. lol says:

    Who’s scheduled to fight on ppv?

  8. danielrchargers says:

    UFC 147 is litteraly for Brazil… or the hardcores. and i fucking hate that word but its true.
    dont buy it if you dont like it.
    8==D———– D:< –(Jake)

  9. Pancho says:

    I like Wand and Rich. I’ve been a fan of Rich for a long time so I just want to see him fight again finally after being Fitched by Forrest lol

  10. riotman says:

    Rich beats everyone yet nobody cares. That said,neither do I.

  11. mmaniac83 says:

    Aren’t you guys supposed to be fans of the fights? and maybe honor the fact that wanderlei is a legend (nevermind one of my all time favorites! War axe murderer!) Quit bitchin about the “weak” card and Pony up the dough db’s and watch the sport we all love! Cuz you all will be on here the next day keyboard warrioring it up anyways!!

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