Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva At UFC 99
Total Pro Sports – Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva have agreed to fight each other at UFC 99.
“I talk with (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and… say no problem, I’m down for 185? He say, no problem,” Silva said in a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com, but adding, “I could fight in both divisions; I could fight 185 and 205.”
It appears that he may not fight at either weight come June 13. Though it is too soon for bout agreements, sources have indicated that Franklin and Silva have agreed to face each other at a catch weight somewhere in the neighborhood of 195 pounds.
A great fight with great name power. Although this fight would have been a blockbuster two years ago, Silva and Franklin have a combined record of 3-5 in their last 4 fights respectively. Many of these loses are to world class opponents, it is clear these two legends are on the downturn of their careers.
The fact I find most interesting in this report is that of having the fight at a catch-weight. The UFC has historically strayed away from catch-weight fights because a win at catch-weight really doesn’t hold merit in any particular weight division. Catch-weight fights are usually reserved for fighters that can’t make weight, or for a super matchup (Royce Gracie vs. Matt Hughes). And while I have to agree that holding this fight at a catch-weight means neither fighter will really move up in the ranking in their own weight class, this fight has “fight of the night” written all over it. With Silva’s relentless style, and Franklin’s tendency to not shy away from the striking phase of MMA, this could be an instant classic.
If the UFC decides to continue with catch-weight fights, GSP vs. Anderson Silva may not be as far away as we think.
UFC 99 Pits Rich Franklin vs Wanderlei Silva – [MMAWeekly.com]