Neither man is really known for his ground game. Chuck Liddell will shoot for a takedown every now and then, and when he does it’s usually only to win the round late in the fight. He executed the strategy perfectly against Wanderlei Silva when he shot in for a takedown in the beginning of the third round. Successfully taking down Silva, he knew that he could go back to it later on in the fight if needed. Rich Franklin has a couple victories attributed to opponents taking him down where he would transition into an armbar and pick up the win. He won’t be able to do that against Chuck though, because as soon as Chuck lands a takedown he goes back to his feet. The only time this fight will go to the ground is at the end of a close round, or if Chuck is in danger.
Ground Advantage: Chuck Liddell
It’s almost a guarantee that whoever shows up to the octagon with the better overall striking game will win, because this fight is going to stay standing. Chuck Liddell has said it before and is not embarrassed to admit it: His strategy is to hurt his opponent, and attack him until he’s knocked out. Despite his plan backfiring against Rampage Jackson, Shogun Rua and Rashad Evans, you can never count Chuck Liddell out. While Chuck’s footwork isn’t the best, he’s always on his toes and packs dynamite power in his punches. If Chuck utilizes his ability to counter-strike Franklin, he can be as dangerous as he was ten years ago.
Rich Franklin seems to walk into every fight wanting to bang it out with his opponent. Knockout victories over Nate Quarry, Evan Tanner and Ken Shamrock gave Franklin recognition, but it was mostly his fearlessness of standing with strikers such as Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva that made the fans love him. Rich Franklin isn’t as much of a loose-cannon as Chuck Liddell is when it comes to punching; Franklin uses good footwork and sets up big flurries of attacks with leg kicks. Rich seems to walk into every fight with a strategy and uses it to his advantage.
While you can never count Chuck out as a top-striker, you can still question his ability to take a punch. Chuck Liddell’s offense leaves him susceptible to wicked strikes, and Franklin’s “controlled frenzy” is a good counter to Liddell’s rather unorthodox striking fashion.
Striking Advantage: Rich Franklin
This is going to be a close fight, but I think Rich Franklin’s footwork, conditioning and ability to set up flurries of attacks will score him the victory.
Rich Franklin defeats Chuck Liddell via. TKO in the 2nd Round
Tags: Chuck Liddell, Mixed Martial Arts, Rich Franklin, UFC, ufc 115, UFC.com