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Three Burning Questions...Post UFC 77 Edition

1. Where does Rich Franklin go from here?

It's almost exactly like the situation Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira dealt with in Pride when he lost the rematch with Fedor.  It's pretty clear that Rich Franklin matches up terribly with Anderson Silva.  So as long as Silva is the champ you have to consider Rich completely out of the title picture.  Franklin would be a favorite against anyone else currently in the UFC middleweight division.  He is also an exceptionally popular fighter, so there are plenty of reasons for the UFC to keep him around.  Okami seems to have earned the next title shot by beating MacDonald, so the somewhat rematch of the somewhat controversial fight between Yushin and Rich has to wait.  That leaves...who for Rich?

2. Is the world ready for three time UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia?

I'll admit it, I used to "hate on" Tim quite a bit.  But lately I've just started feeling sorry for him and hoping that he can pull off a few big W's.  Seriously, is there any other fighter with a collection of highlight reel KO's that gets as much crap as him?  The guy really tries to have exciting fights but the live crowds just boo the hell out of him, the forums trash him, and the media dismiss him.  He genuinely seems like he just wants people to like him, but it ain't happening.  And now with the win over Vera he is set up for a title fight with Nogueira to fill the spot left by Randy Couture's "retirement."  Dana White had to be cringing around the middle of the second round when it started to become clear that Tim was taking the fight over.  So now possibly the most hated fighter in the company is set up to become champion for a third time.  Maybe it's just karma for how well he has handled all the booing.  Or MAYBE he is a whole lot better than anyone wants to give him credit for.

3.  How big is the Brock Lesnar signing?

If you ask me the Lesnar signing is huge.  The guy looks like a beast, has more athletic ability in his left big toe than most human beings have in their whole bodies, and is marketable as all getout.  In some ways the announcement lessened the sting of Randy leaving by putting a message out there of "we have plenty more talent in the division, everything will be okay."  Assuming he continues to develop his game and gets as good as I think he will, we will be seeing some Lesnar headed PPV's break MMA buy rate records.

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