Rich Franklin who will meet Wanderlei Silva June 13th in Germany at UFC 99 has called upon a former foe to help him prepare for this bout.
In an article by Dan Stupp in the Dayton Daily News, sources close to Anderson Silva have confirmed that he will indeed be working with Franklin as he prepares to meet the “Axe Murderer.”
Franklin’s manager, J.T. Stewart, was asked to comment on the unusual pairing but declined to be interviewed.
Of course many of you know it was Franklin whom Silva defeated to gain the middleweight championship he still owns at UFC 64 in October of 2006. They fought once again at UFC 77 a year later and the results were pretty much the same only this time the fight ended early in the second round as opposed to the first round.
Franklin has since moved to the light heavyweight division but this fight will be contested at a catch weight of 195 lbs as Wanderlei Siva is trying to get adjusted to fighting at a lower weight after announcing plans to drop from a light heavyweight to a middleweight earlier this year.
It appears that Franklin will be training in Seattle with normal training partner Matt Hume and will then head to California to start training with Silva soon afterwards.
Franklin can learn a lot from Silva in regards to his Muay Thai skills and he will certainly need to enhance that area of his game as Wanderlei has a vicious clinch and sick knees much like Anderson Silva possesses. Who better to learn from than the master himself? The pairing of these two as training partners goes to show just how much respect these men have for one another.
This will only enhance the war that has begun to develop between Anderson and Wanderlei who have had a problem with each other since Anderson broke away from Chute Box. Recently Wanderlei has criticized Anderson for his lackluster performance against Thales Leites at UFC 97. Now the two have even more to argue about and this may lead to a match-up sometime in the near future.