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The Case for Rich Franklin

Desert Dog - a man with an uncanny ability to call fights correctly - thinks the Ohio boy may perform better than expected. Notable quote:

I'm going to give Franklin the benefit of the doubt in this fight. He will be prepared not only physically but mentally. The construction of a solid game plan is a great foundation and he will focus on his strengths so that he can control the fight. In this match up his strengths are still his punching power but even more so his power on the ground. Speed wise his hands are slower than Silva's, but his power could be used to keep Silva from picking him apart without hesitation. Basically, he'll need to hurt Silva to give him a taste of uncertainty he suffered.

If Rich can slow up Silva's outside game it will set up his ability to make his presence on the ground known. Lutter, Martquart, and others have shown that Anderson can be taken down, of course they've also shown how dangerous he is on his back as well. That aside, Franklin will have to make this one look like his fight with David Loiseau. There's a chance that Rich may catch the Spider with a solid shot, but the most likely road to a win here is a long drawn-out battle of will and strategy.

The problem with the Loiseau and Silva comparisons is that if Silva rocks Franklin like Loiseau did in the third round of their fight, it's curtains for Franklin. Silva's finishing skills are first-rate, or far superior to Loiseau's anyway.

Desert is right about the outside game, though. If you watch the first Franklin vs. Silva fight, it is Silva who introduces the clinch after exchanging with Franklin on the feet for the better part of two minutes. Those exchanges didn't cause Silva to absorb much damage, but he was clearly not landing on Franklin as he expected. Franklin's southpaw style, clever feints, and awkward angles cause a lot of problems for opponents, even those as skilled as Silva. If Franklin wants to win this fight, he must avoid the clinch - either wrestling or Thai - at all costs. If he is to win this fight, he should introduce a nice mixture of outside stand-up with takedowns and damage from top control.

Then again, that's going to be a problem. Franklin's takedowns are generally from the inside space. He loves to work double underhooks for sacrifice throws. I've never really seem him shoot from the outside and even if he were to have this skill, I'm not sure it's going to do him much good.

I'm not ready to hop on the Franklin bandwagon yet. I absolutely believe he'll give Silva a much harder time this go-round and I also give him a very decent chance to regain his belt. For the moment, though, I still see Silva as having too many answers for Franklin's game.

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