Whoever came up with the famous saying about the difficulty in teaching “an old dog new tricks” clearly wasn’t considering Mixed Martial Arts at the time. While Wanderlei Silva’s reputation may be one involving a singular focus on stand-up, he’s also been training to fight more intelligently than in the past while changing up camps including a recent stint at Team Blackhouse alongside Lyoto Machida and Fabricio Werdum.
Given his vast amount of experience, when Rich Franklin fights Silva next Saturday night at UFC 147 he won’t make the mistake of thinking he’ll be facing the same “Axe Murderer” as he did in 2009 en route to a Unanimous Decision win or even the same competitor he’s watched tape of. Rather, he’s looking at Silva like an entirely new threat and treating him with the respect he deserves.
“I’m not the kind of fighter who thinks, ‘Oh well, I’ve fought Wanderlei. I’ve been there. I’ve won. And so I don’t need to be as worried about this fight,’ like I’ve got him figured out,” said Franklin in an extended preview for the event. “When you take somebody at Wanderlei’s level he’ll take a fight like that and fix his mistakes. And it’s easy for somebody who has already won one match against a person to kind of overlook things and go on cruise control. You really do need to step back as if you’re fighting a fresh person.”
“The best way for me to finish this fight is not to get lazy in the fight and get caught up in his game,” he concluded.
Watch the full preview below including a segment highlighting the show’s co-headliner between Werdum-Mike Russow:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC