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Luke Calls Anderson Silva vs Rich Franklin II

MMA on Tap has an incredible who's who of MMA writers sharing their thoughts on tomorrow's big fight at UFC 77. Here's what our own Luke Thomas had to say:

Luke Thomas, Bloody Elbow: The clear favorite here is Anderson Silva. Aside from the beating Franklin absorbed in their first fight, the fact of the matter is that Silva poses a much more dangerous threat to Franklin on any given day than the opposite. Franklin is technically more well-rounded, but Silva has the ability to lord his stand-up prowess over Franklin the entire time. I give Franklin a lot more credit for his performance in their first outing than others. If you watch the tape, Silva initiated the Thai plum because banging with Franklin on the outside wasn't doing a terrible amount of damage. That being said, it is clear the more technical striker of the two is Silva.

Given enough time, Silva has too many tools - incredible angles, nimble footwork, devastating combinations, alternating striking levels, solid punching power, excellent use of reach, and more - to lose a kickboxing match with Franklin. Can Franklin win this fight on the ground? Possibly. It's hard for me to imagine him doing this successfully for five rounds, so he must work for the finish (Daiju Takase's fluke win notwithstanding). The Lutter fight with Silva is misleading if you believe the reports that both of Silva's knees were blown out before the fight, so it's not clear how good is ground acumen actually is at this point. I would say Franklin's key to winning this fight is that he must disrupt Silva's gameplan and rhythm.

Silva performs his best when he's able to set the timing, location, and speed of the fight. He sucks fighters into his way of fighting and annihilates them on home turf. Either by keeping Silva's back to the mat or by mixing takedowns with kickboxing from the outside, Franklin's objective should be to methodically push Silva out of his rhythm until the fight is over. He can't rush it, but he must always be on the attack, always coming forward. Franklin is championship material and I give him a decent chance to win, but as aforementioned, Silva's likely just too dangerous. Silva, TKO, 4th round.

But you should go read the whole thing, everybody who's anybody chimes in, very good read.