UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin 2 Review – They Gave Their Best
A review of UFC 147, which featured a great main event with a Brazilian legend, a big fight for a Brazilian heavyweight, and a bunch of soon to be irrelevant Brazilians.
Rich Franklin def. Wanderlei Silva: These two men might not be top contenders anymore, but I think we all knew that this would be a great fight. And it was. For the majority of the fight, Franklin kept a good distance and picked apart Silva with his jab, lead hook, straight left, and body kicks. Near the end of the second round though, Silva exploded with one of his famous flurries and dropped Franklin with a right hand. It looked like Franklin may have been out when he hit the mat and Silva followed up with a barrage of punches, but Franklin kept moving and the ref never stepped in to stop it. I thought it was going to be stopped when Franklin gave up his back and was flat on his stomach with Silva punching away, but once again, Franklin somehow kept moving and managed to survive to the bell. With a minute to recover between rounds, Franklin got back into his rhythm in the third round as Silva didn’t mount much offense until the fifth round when he did his usual “pump up the crowd and give one last flurry” shtick. And while Silva did explode with one last flurry, he almost paid for it as Franklin dropped him in the closing seconds in the middle of a wild exchange. Franklin easily took the decision, but because Silva remained conscious and nearly won the fight in the 2nd, he’ll live to fight another day. I don’t know who he fights though. He obviously wants the fight against Vitor Belfort, but he couldn’t deal with Franklin’s speed, imagine Belfort’s speed and power against him. I think he should fight Michael Bisping since that’s a rematch that Bisping wants and it’s a much safer fight for Silva. Now that Franklin is back in the middleweight division, he’s back to being a bridesmaid. He’s never going to beat Anderson Silva, but he’s still good enough to beat the majority of the division. I’d like to see him face Hector Lombard next (pending Lombard beats Tim Boetsch) because Lombard will likely need another victory before getting a title shot and beating Franklin would definitely solidify his status as the top contender.
Cezar Ferreira def. Sergio Moraes Moraes is a jiu-jitsu expert who couldn’t get the fight to the ground against a Vitor Belfort protege. That tells you all you need to know about this fight. Moraes had his flurries, but for the majority of the fight he just kept back up and getting punched and kicked in the face. This fight actually said a lot about Ferreira, who didn’t react well at all when Moraes would press forward with his wild punches. Had Moraes just wildly charged forward for 15-minutes, he probably could’ve finished Ferriera. Instead he hung back for the majority of the fight, got hit with punches, and was nearly finished a couple of times but Ferriera was so afraid of going to the ground with Moraes that every time Moraes went down, Ferreira would be hesitant to follow up. Now Ferreira will face Daniel Sarafian to determine the “true” TUF: Brazil champion, even though they already awarded the glass trophy to Ferreira.
Rony Mariano Bezerra def. Godofredo Pepey: This fight sucked. It was two unknown dudes (although Joe Rogan claims that they are superstars in Brazil) having a poor fight that no American could care about. Even the Brazilian crowd started turning on the fight. Neither guy offered much in the way of striking so they tried to get it to the ground. Pepey’s brilliant idea was to pull guard against a guy with “jiu-jitsu” tattooed on his back. That’s like entering a drinking contest with a dude who has “bud light” tattooed on his body. Pepey was playing a losing game because he wasn’t going to submit Bezerra off his back, and because Bezerra had top position the entire fight, he won the decision. So now Bezerra is The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil champion and will likely go on to have minimal success in the company. In fairness, this was an awkward match-up for both guys and I don’t think that their true talents were going to shine either way, but people said the same thing about Ross Pearson vs. Andre Winner and look where their careers are. I just hope Pepey cries less when he eventually loses.
Fabricio Werdum def. Mike Russow: This was a nice showcase for Werdum, who made short work of Russow. Lets be honest, Russow is just a tough guy with above average wrestling and not much else while Werdum has elite jiu-jitsu and extremely improved striking. That improved striking was on display as he tagged Russow at will before dropping him with an uppercut, which he stole from Junior dos Santos, and finishing him with strikes on the ground. Werdum looked a little soft and slow, but he was facing Russow, so I don’t really hold that against him. I’m not saying that he mailed in his training camp, because I hope that he learned from the JDS fight that you can’t take anyone lightly, but I’m sure he didn’t train as hard as he did for his previous fights. Werdum is likely one win away from a title shot, but there aren’t many fighters to pair him up against right now. He could take another average heavyweight, but losing to say the winner of Ben Rothwell vs. Travis Browne kills off a contender and doesn’t immediately establish a new one (unless you want to see Rothwell or Browne fight for the title). Daniel Cormier makes the most sense, but he has to take a meaningless fight in Strikeforce fight, though we can all hope that Cormier somehow gets out of that and comes to the UFC. Who knows, maybe Brock Lesnar will return after all and he’ll fight Werdum.
Harcan Dias def. Yuri Alcantara: I don’t know what happened to Alcantara in this fight. His takedown defense, which looked solid against Michihiro Omigawa, went to hell and he was taken down repeatedly by Dias. For the better part of 15-minutes, Dias just out-positioned Alcantara on top and rode his way to a decision. Despite the dominating control, Alcantara was closest to getting a finish when he locked on an arm bar that Joe Rogan thought was going to rip Dias’s arm off, but he somehow managed to escape. When they were on the feet, Alcantara got the better of the striking and finished the fight strong with a takedown and some good ground and pound, but it wasn’t enough as Dias got the takedown every time he committed. This was a pretty bad loss for Alcantara, who had a chance to move up the featherweight ladder with his 4th straight Zuffa win (including one over Ricardo Lamas), but now he goes near the back of the line. Dias did what he had to do to win, but his striking still looks pretty pedestrian and he won’t be able to takedown a lot of guys at featherweight like he did Alcantara.