Why Rich Franklin-Anderson Silva III Makes Sense

Posted: June 25, 2012 in Marketing, PR, Social Media, UFC

Photo Via UFC.com/ Getty Images

Yes, I’m skipping over Silva-Sonnen II. Let’s be honest, Sonnen is not the man to dethrone Anderson Silva. He just isn’t. Even with all my previous paranoia.

Rich Franklin is coming to the end of his MMA career.  At 38 years of age, Franklin is not “old” but he is at the tail end of an athletic career. (Not everyone can be Randy Couture.) Given the fact that he has bailed out the UFC more times than any other fighter, the fact that he has cleaned house in the middleweight division and there is no one else worth paying PPV prices for (sorry Bisping but its true), it is time for Franklin-Silva III.

There are a number of middleweights that I’m sure think they are more deserving, but they are not. A former champion who defended his title twice before the reign of the spider, Franklin is a PR machine for the world of MMA.  He showcases that not all fighters are “dumb brutes”, he always gives back to the community/armed forces, and – he proves he is the “company man” by bailing out UFC cards left and right. He has thrown himself into “catch weight” fights 3 times to help the UFC and saved a flopping TUF season when Tito Ortiz decided to pull himself out of his fight with Liddell.  The result? Liddell retired.

How do you show a man like this thanks? Sure, you pay him well, but you also show him why he makes such concessions for the organization. You give him the fight he wants more than anything else: a middleweight title fight against Anderson Silva.

Now I know the Franklin doubters are saying right now – why do I want to see this fight again? I saw him lose to the spider  twice. Why?  Because this fight has all the makings of a classic, and all the makings of a PR juggernaut:

  • Respect. The two fighters respect each other more than most other fighters in the sport. In fact, they have even helped each other train for fights which provides another layer to the battle. No, not a Rocky III slow motion run on the beach – they now know each other intimately. They will have to change their training regimens for some kind of “surprise” in the fight.
  • The Sell. A third fight offers each fighter something beyond a title. For Silva it is the rare opportunity to fully “own” a trilogy. He will have the chance to shut down a top fighter like Franklin 3x. For Franklin, it is a redemption fight. To have the final win in a trilogy that has seen him fall twice before.
  • The Media Circuit.  Both Franklin and Silva can deliver strong sound bites. Neither would decline interviews or limit their marketing duties to promote the fight.  White and team could milk this for several months of build up.
  • Skill sets. Are there any fighters with a better pedigree than these two? My opinion is no.  Even if this is only a round or two of action, it will be elite-level.
  • An End. As I said above, Franklin is nearing the end run and the Spider is right there with him. If either would “call it a day” and hang up the gloves and shorts, they could hold their head up high losing to this opponent.  This is the final showdown both would want to book end their storied careers.

What do you think now? Would you pay to see Franklin-Silva III? I know I would…

Photo via UFC.com/Getty Images

  1. jumpingpolarbear says:

    Want it to be a 3 round fight were they will go 100 percent almost the entire time!

  2. ryankorz says:

    I feel torn on this. I adore Franklin as a fighter and ambassador of the sport. I also feel he has one last run at the title left in him but I think he just doesn’t have the skill set for Anderson Silva. I think he could beat 90% of the guys in the 185 division but I think Anderson would outclass him again and I fear it would lead to his retirement. He deserves a title shot, based on skill, wins and bailing the UFC out by being there big name savior in filling main event gaps over the years but … I just don’t see that trilogy drawing a lot of fans and ppv interest when Silva beat him so decidedly twice already.

  3. I get that. I can see why Fans may not want to see it again, just like I had no interest in Edgar-Maynard 3 or Faber v Cruz 3 (before TUF that is). Sometimes the fights have to come to those that earned them – that said, would you be more inclined to tune in if this was a Fox fight and not PPV? I think both would serve well as ambassadors to the sport and give the Fox fans a show. Even if a lopsided one.

  4. ryankorz says:

    That would be a great idea. I loved it when they did the Champion vs. Champion Henderson vs. Rampage fight for free and it was a great one as well. This would be a great way to reward fans and Franklin for his well earned victories/career. Good call!

  5. 47Master says:

    You are talking about getting some one seriously hurt. That is sick. Good God, Man. Have some mercy! Have you heard of Chronic Traumatic Encephalitis or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Joe Silva would never go for it. No! Uh un. nicht. nein. Pick another fighter.

    • Thanks for the comment 47. Based on the UFC’s love of trilogies I doubt Joe Silva would say no without thinking about it. The organization would only say no if they thought it wouldn’t make money. As for getting hurt, no different than anyone else in the division going against Silva. I just think it is the only “true” opponent for Ace and one he hasn’t beaten. Do I think he’ll do it, probably not – but he has earned the chance to try.

  6. […] like Dana White, I’m disgusted by this entire exchange.  Former champions like Hughes, Franklin, Liddell, Couture etc – “the old guard” – would always rise to the challenge and help the […]

  7. […] “Spider” Silva, the most dominant middle weight champion of all time, will step up to light heavyweight and face The Ultimate Fighter 1 finalist and fan […]

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