IT’S OFTEN HARD to live up to past glories, especially in MMA but Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva bucked this trend in spectacular fashion as they served up another cracking fight at UFC 147.
While the main event of Clay Guida versus Gray Maynard failed to ignite on Friday night, it was left to two veterans of the sport to salvage a somewhat disappointing weekend of action.
Seven out of the nine fights on the main cards on both Friday and Saturday nights ended up in the hands of the judges but the best was saved for last as “Ace” and “The Axe Murderer” went toe-to-toe. Franklin had to dig deep to claim the victory.
Despite losing a close decision in their first fight, Silva seemed to have the edge coming into this fight with a KO over Cung Le under his belt and a fervent home crowd passionately supporting him.
He looked tentative in the opening moments of the fight, allowing Franklin to establish his jab, the tool he used most on way to victory in their first fight. Silva always looked ready to unload though and it was late into the second round when he finally caught “Ace” flush. Silva swarmed all over him and looked to finish and Franklin dug deep to intelligently defend himself and cling on to the bell. Despite the avid support, Silva looked spent from trying to finish whereas Franklin had recovered fully and established a level of dominance that continued to the final bell.
The judges unanimously scored the bout in favour of Franklin who admitted in the cage afterwards that he couldn’t remember rounds three or four after Silva’s onslaught. It was left to Fabricio Werdum to give the Brazilian fans something to cheer about as he broke Mike Russow’s unbeaten UFC record. Werdum always looked a class above Russow and now believes he is one win away from a re-match with current heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos.
Elsewhere on that card Cezar Ferreira claimed the TUF Brazil middleweight crown while Rony Mariano Bezerra claimed the featherweight crown.
Clay Guida runs from Maynard, loses split decision.
The lead-up to the fight between Clay Guida and Gray Maynard had been simmering nicely. Maynard had requested that Guida’s customary wild hair-style be kept under control and despite being irked by the request, Guida duly obliged. All the ingredients where in-place for an explosive matchup but instead it failed to ignite mostly due to the fact the “The Carpenter” spent the whole fight literally running away from his opponent.
In an effort to avoid Maynard’s strong wrestling skills, Guida continuously backed off and was warned in the final round to engage or risk getting a point deducted. Unfortunately this call from the referee came four rounds too late and the fight ended with Maynard’s hand being raised. Dana White’s video blog captured the most exciting exchange between the two, unfortunately it wasn’t in the Octagon but it was behind the scenes afterwards, (about 8:20 in.)
YouTube Credit: UFC.
Sam Stout took the rubber match against Spencer Fisher to claim the bragging rights between the two while Brian Ebersole took his win-streak to 11 as he beat TJ Waldburger via unanimous decision. Cub Swanson KO’d Ross Pearson in the second round of their main card bout.