Rich Franklin to train with Anderson Silva during UFC 99 prep for "Wandy"
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Apr 27, 2009 at 9:15 am ET
As he prepares for his UFC 99 main-event fight with Wanderlei Silva, former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin will spend some time training with a former foe.
In fact, Franklin will work with the fighter who not only took his belt but also beat him in a rematch (in front of a hometown Cincinnati crowd) when he tried to get it back.
MMAjunkie.com's Dann Stupp discusses the Franklin-Anderson Silva alliance in this week's "MMA Insider" column in the Dayton Daily News.
Stupp learned of the duo's plans from sources close to Silva (Franklin's manager opted not to comment on the matter).
Franklin, who suffered a close split-decision loss to Dan Henderson in January, will now meet Wanderlei Silva in June during the UFC's first-ever trip to Germany. The bout will take place at a catch-weight of 195 pounds (Franklin recently moved up to 205 pounds and Silva planned to drop to 185 pounds). Like the other Silva, Anderson Silva is a noted striker. He's also one of only two guys who ever knocked out Franklin, so he's sure to pick up a few tricks.
Franklin recently took off for Seattle to work with trainer Matt Hume, and he'll reportedly spend some time in California with the current champ.
The move also underscores a budding rivalry between Anderson and Wanderlei Silva. Once training partners and friends, Wanderlei has spoken openly about his intention of dropping to 185 and challenging for the title, which presumedly would still be held by Anderson, who hasn't taken kindly to the plans.
Don't be surprised to see the Franklin-Anderson Silva footage make its way to the "UFC Countdown" show for the UFC 99 event. The footage could fan the flames of a potential Silva vs. Silva showdown if Franklin comes up short in June.
For the full story, go to DaytonDailyNews.com.
And for the latest on "UFC 99: Franklin vs. Silva," stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.