UFC 99 War Report: Wanderlei Silva will KO Rich Franklin

The concept for the War Report is simple. Two writers will draw a line in the sand on which fighter they think will win the fight. This time up: a UFC 99 clash between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva.
This card will be the first for the country of Germany, and while the UFC didn’t put a title fight on the card, Franklin vs. Silva is a fight both hardcore and mainstream alike can get behind.

With the fight card less then twenty-four hours away let’s get to it.

The Set-up:

Wanderlei Silva has spent many years fighting in the light heavyweight division. However, his chin may not be able to take the punishment that division has to offer anymore. A solid career move sends him down to 185, where he is much better matched, and his power is much more prominent. But before he begins anew in the UFC middleweight division, a catch-weight fight is at hand.

Franklin cut down to 195 for the opportunity to fight a Silva he has never fought before. Prior to Franklin settling at 205, Wanderlei Silva will look to defeat him in what will undoubtedly be a stand up battle. This is a good warm up bout for Franklin before he steps back into the dangerous 205 pound division.

The necessity of a win for each fighter is clear. Both Silva and Franklin look to win and gain the opportunity to perhaps once again declare dominance in mixed martial arts. Ladies and gentleman, there is a reason this event is title “The Comeback”.

Ground Game:

This fight is sure to rarely involve any type of ground game. Both fighters have expressed their willingness to fight on the feet. However, if one fighter deems it necessary to go to the ground, a comparison is necessary.
Franklin boasts submission victories over Curtis Stout and Jorge Rivera. Unfortunately, his last submission was all the way back in 2004. That being said, Franklin still has an impressive ground game. However, Franklin rarely looks to use his jiu-jitsu in an offensive manner

ilva’s history with submitting fighters is precisely that, history.  Silva has not had a submission since the year 2000. However, he does boast a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but rarely uses it to submit. Rather, Silva uses it strictly for bettering his situation and to avoid unfortunate circumstances on the ground. 

On the ground, these two fighters are not easily separated. Neither brings a history of submissions into this bout. If Rich Franklin feels this fight needs to go to the ground, that means he is probably way behind in the stand up battle, let alone the judges’ scorecards.

Stand Up:

Silva and Franklin have both stated that this fight will take place on the feet, which leads to a brawl between two very different styles of attack. This will be a battle of two very effective striking styles.

Rich Franklin has won over fifty percent of his fights via knockout or TKO. There is no question that his boxing is very effective, also being referred to often as somewhat unorthodox with punches coming at strange angles. Franklin is also brings his southpaw striking into this bout. The great footwork he possesses will allow him to navigate the octagon much better than Silva, giving Franklin an edge when it comes to positioning.

Silva’s stand up game is quite different. Unlike Franklin, Silva has an undeniable ability to knock his opponent out cold. With knockout victories over Keith Jardine and Quinton Jackson (on two occasions), a knockout sent Franklin’s way seems to be a definite possibility. When it comes to style, Silva will look to dominate Franklin with flurries of punches and constant pressure. Silva most likely will look to use his muy-thai as much as possible, considering Franklin’s past history in the clinch.

However, one cannot deny the fact that Franklin will come into this fight better prepared to defend the clinch. Unfortunately for him, several combinations may soften him up enough for Silva to utilize his muy-thai once again.

While Franklin can prepare for the clinch, there is one thing no fighter can really prepare. Wanderlei Silva has recently shown a susceptibility to knockout, causing many to question his chin. However, Franklin will not have the power of “Rampage” Jackson, and will be unable to knock Silva out. On the other hand, Franklin has not faced a striker with such power in quite some time. Perhaps Silva will bring Franklin’s chin into question by the end of this fight.

While both fighters have different styles of striking, the technical striking of Franklin does not match up against the knockout power and muy thai “The Axe Murderer” can claim. Franklin will simply not be able to compete with Silva’s boxing, let alone his clinch.

The Intangibles:

Rich Franklin has gained one very important advantage when he decided to take this fight; Anderson Silva has offered to aid him in training. The former teammate of Wanderlei Silva’s undoubtedly knows a lot about him. However, Anderson and Wanderlei trained years ago. The information offered by Silva may simply be outdated. Even if it is not, Franklin still has to defend against the vicious punches of Silva, which was not something “The Spider” had to inform Franklin about.

When it comes to mentality, that is another story for Franklin. He was clearly affected by his close split-decision loss to Dan Henderson, and “Ace” may be feeling the pressure of a late career slump. Silva does not seem to feel that same pressure. At this point, he is only concerned with exciting fights and performing for the fans.

The Resume:

Franklin’s key wins include victories over Matt Hammil, Yushin Okami, Ken Shamrock, and Evan Tanner. Franklin has only lost to the best throughout his mixed martial arts career. His losses include two to Anderson Silva, a recent loss to Dan Henderson, and a loss to Lyoto Machida.

Wanderlei Silva also has several impressive victories in his career, including victories over Rampage Jackson (twice), Ricardo Arona, and Keith Jardine. However, his loss categories includes defeats at the hands of Quinton Jackson and Chuck Liddell.
Both fighters hold impressive victories, along with disappointing losses. However, at this point in their careers, the resume is not as important as it once was.

The Grand Finale:

Wanderlei Silva will come out of the gates with his guns blazing. While Franklin will look to counter the attack, he will run right into the onslaught “The Axe Murderer” will provide. With his relentless attack and an immense amount of pressure, Silva will dominant Franklin in a stand battle that should go no later than the second round. Pick: Silva via Knockout.

To read the other half of the war report where Rich Franklin wins click here.

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