Rich Franklin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The respective careers of Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva are at a crossroads, and their scheduled meeting at UFC 99 in June couldn’t come at a better time for the fighters themselves and fans alike. But with the bout taking place at a catch-weight of 195 lbs, almost no one knows where either Franklin or Silva go from here, except for Dana White:
“I met Rich in the middle,” UFC president Dana White said of the decision for the catchweight. “Rich didn’t want to cut weight. He didn’t want to go back to 85, and Wanderlei hasn’t been to 85 yet.
“I think it’s a fun fight and it will be a fun fight to watch,” said White.
Regardless of the outcome, Franklin will continue to compete at light heavyweight while Silva is expected to debut as a middleweight in his next scheduled bout following the Franklin fight.
The decision to go their separate ways is the best idea for both fighters. At middleweight, Franklin would just be knocking off potential title contenders, but at light heavyweight, he can challenge for a belt in a division he’s yet to conquer. No longer a real threat at light heavyweight, Silva will also find new territory at 185 lbs. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.