UFC 99 Notebook: Silva Pleads for Rematch

By Brian Knapp Jun 14, 2009
Forget the judges. Wanderlei Silva believes he defeated Rich Franklin in the UFC 99 main event, and if the Brazilian legend gets what he wants, he may be soon stare across the cage at the former middleweight champion in a rematch.

Silva directly requested a second fight with Franklin and pleaded his case to UFC President Dana White after he lost a unanimous decision on Saturday at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany.

“I want a rematch,” Silva said. “I want to fight Rich Franklin again. I’m thinking I won.”

White may have other plans for “The Axe Murderer,” one of the sport’s most violent and beloved figures. Thirteen years in the sport have exacted a noticeable toll on the soon-to-be 33-year-old, whose style does not lend itself to longevity. Silva -- who once went nearly five years between defeats -- has lost five of his last six bouts, three of them by knockout. A planned move to 185 pounds has kindled hope in a potential showdown with former Chute Boxe Academy teammate and current middleweight king Anderson Silva, but legitimate concerns remain about whether or not his body can withstand the 20-pound cut.

“It’s one of those things where we’ll get back to Vegas, we’ll call Wanderlei in, sit down and talk to him and see what he wants to do,” White said. “He lives in [Las] Vegas now. This is a guy who was our arch enemy for so long because of the whole Pride-UFC thing. Wanderlei Silva is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.”

For his part, Franklin admitted he absorbed far more damage against Silva than he did in his controversial split decision loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 93 five months ago in Dublin, Ireland. Still, the former math teacher claimed he felt better physically after going three rounds with Silva.

“I took less damage from Dan,” Franklin told UFC.com. “He really didn’t land any clean shots on me, even when we were on the ground, and I was just way more beat up from that fight. My whole left leg was torn up, my foot. I threw so many body kicks and was catching forearms and elbows, knees and everything else. This fight, relatively speaking, for a 15-minute fight, I feel really good.”

Silva -- who ruled the Pride Fighting Championships promotion for much of the decade -- has never found his stride inside the Octagon. With his defeat to Franklin, he has now dropped six of his eight career matches in the UFC. Still, White plans to extend his relationship with the popular Brazilian long after he finishes fighting.

“He’s become a big part of our team,” White said. “We care about this guy. We’d love to keep him around, no matter what he decides to do.”

Velasquez Wants More Than Victory

Few carry the weight of expectation better than Cain Velasquez.

Photo by Sherdog.com

Cheick Kongo took the
fight on short notice.
The American Kickboxing Academy product remained undefeated with his unanimous decision victory against French kickboxer Cheick Kongo in a featured heavyweight bout at UFC 99. The 26-year-old Californian -- who had never gone the distance before -- dissected his latest effort and remained unsatisfied with his performance.

“I don’t think I’m there yet -- where I need to be,” Velasquez told UFC.com. “I do win, but I want to go out there and win impressively. If I don’t do that, I’m pretty hard on myself.”

Velasquez played a similar tune after he chopped down Denis Stojnic at UFC Fight Night 17 in February. A two-time All-American wrestler and two-time conference champion at Arizona State University, he has emerged as arguably the top heavyweight prospect in the sport. Soon, some believe, he might be fit to challenge for the UFC crown.

“I want to be on top,” Velasquez said. “That’s pretty much what I came to the sport to do.”

Decision Baffles Davis

Marcus Davis had a hard time swallowing his split decision defeat to Dan Hardy, a man with whom he had engaged in a public war of words for the better part of four months. The 35-year-old thought he had built a two-round cushion entering the third and final period against the fast-rising British welterweight.

“I totally outwrestled him the first round,” Davis told UFC.com. “He was on his back the whole round. The second round, he got out-grappled and outwrestled.”

Hardy, however, opened a nasty cut on the bridge of Davis’ nose with a third-round elbow and escaped multiple submission attempts from the American. He closed strong, earned favor from the judges and delivered his sixth consecutive victory since a disqualification loss to Yoshiyuki Yoshida in 2007.

“That third round … he lost three minutes and, like, 15 or 20 seconds of the third round,” Davis said. “I had it booked in my head, and then he comes in and he cuts me and he frustrates me and wins that last round. When I got up and the fight was over, I knew that I had won the fight. I knew that it was close, but I knew that I had those first two rounds in the bank.”

The judges saw it differently. Davis -- who has lost only twice in his last 15 fights -- conceded that losing to Hardy made hearing the split verdict all the more difficult.

“This fight I didn’t lose,” he said. “It was a fight that I should have been able to finish. To lose to him makes it even harder.”

This & That

The UFC issued four $60,000 post-fight bonuses. They went to Franklin and Silva for “Fight of the Night,” Mike Swick for “Knockout of the Night” and Terry Etim for “Submission of the Night” … UFC 99 drew 12,854 fans for a $1.3 million gate, according to Zuffa officials … Stefan Struve was exactly one foot taller than his opponent, Golden Glory’s Stojnic. The Dutchman has posted his last six wins by submission, five of them on chokes … Englishman John Hathaway, one of the UFC’s emerging young stalwarts, remains largely under the radar at 11-0 after his unanimous decision victory against Ricky StoryCaol Uno made his first appearance inside the UFC since Sept. 26, 2003, as he lost a unanimous decision to Spencer Fisher. He had not fought in the Octagon since being knocked out by Hermes Franca at UFC 44 … White believes the UFC made successful inroads with its debut on German soil. “We came to Germany to let the people know that this is a real sport with real athletes. These guys are great people. They’re not barbarians,” he said … Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic posted his first UFC win since he stopped Eddie Sanchez on strikes in February 2007. After finishing Mustapha al Turk in the first round, the 2006 Pride open weight grand prix winner promptly bolted for a multi-fight deal with the Japan-based Dream promotion, according to Yahoo! Sports.
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