Wanderlei Silva Focused on Rich Franklin, Still Wants Rematch With Vitor Belfort

By Marcelo Alonso Jun 15, 2012



Wanderlei Silva is ready for Rich Franklin. Who better to make such a guarantee than the "Mad Dog" himself, who has been training with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in Curitiba, Brazil, to prepare for his main event bout against Rich Franklin at UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte on June 23. The middleweight said that, for him, the fight could happen now.

"The training is pretty cool. Shogun is a longtime friend, and I'm very happy returning to train with him. It was very helpful. I'm already ready. The fight could be Saturday -- I'm already on weight,” Silva said.

Franklin defeated Silva in their first meeting at UFC 99 in 2009 via unanimous decision. Although the Brazilian considered the result to be unfair, he admits that his preparation could have been better. Silva promises that this time he will leave the Octagon with a victory.

"I missed a little physical preparation; I could [have been] better prepared physically. So I think I won, but the decision could be given to anyone, and I'm sure this time there will be no doubt, and I'll leave with the victory," Silva said.

Silva was originally supposed to face Vitor Belfort at UFC 147 in a matchup of rival coaches from “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.” After Belfort suffered a hand injury, Franklin took his place. Silva believes his strategy won't suffer major changes, however, and is already anticipating a rematch against Belfort. “The Phenom” defeated Silva via first-round technical knockout in 1998.

"Both are southpaws and fight on the feet. Rich Franklin kicks a little more, is a little taller, but it is not much difference,” he said. “I want to fight one fight at time, but obviously I want to fight Vitor. That fight has not been canceled, only postponed."

Leonardo Fabri contributed to this report

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