UFC 147 Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 10 p.m. (ET) on Pay-Per-View Mineirinho Gymnasium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil Rich Franklin (-200) Profile: Franklin (28-6-1, 1 No-Contest) is a former math teacher and UFC middleweight champion who has had a spotty record in the years past his brief title reign that started in 2005 and ended with a loss to current champ Anderson Silva in 2006. With solid wins over Matt Hamill, Yushin Okami and Wanderlei Silva, as well as putting Chuck Liddell into retirement, the 37-year-old MMA veteran has certainly enjoyed his share of high moments without the belt around his waist. However, he has also suffered through some tough times, including a first-round TKO loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC 103 that followed a controversial split decision awarded to Dan Henderson at UFC 93. Franklin is coming off another disappointing unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 126, which came immediately after his surprising first-round KO of Liddell as a replacement for Tito Ortiz at UFC 115. He will be a replacement yet again at UFC 147 when he fills in for an injured Belfort against Silva. Wanderlei Silva (+160) Profile: Since joining the UFC ranks, Silva (34-1-1, 1 No-Contest) has gone a mediocre 3-4, recently rebounding from a first-round knockout at the hands of Chris Leben at UFC 132 by scoring a second-round TKO of Cung Le at UFC 139. Always entertaining, the 35-year-old Brazilian looks to bring the fight to his opponent and will be matched up with Franklin for the second time in the main event at UFC 147 after his original bout against Belfort fell through when he broke his hand. “The Axe Murderer” suffered a unanimous decision loss to Franklin in the first meeting at UFC 99, his fifth setback in six fights before winning two of his last three. With 22 wins in Pride, (15 of those knockouts) and a fight style that can be best described as fighting a tornado, Silva is still a force to be reckoned with in the UFC middleweight division. Opening MMA Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has installed Franklin as the -200 favorite (bet $200 to win $100) while Silva opened as a +160 underdog (bet $100 to win $160) according to the MMA odds. Many Brazilian fans will be disappointed not to see Belfort vs. Silva, which was originally supposed to be the co-main event before the main event of Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen before it was moved to UFC 148. Silva himself may also be disappointed after coaching against Belfort during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Franklin is a crafty opponent who was able to take advantage of a similar situation when he filled in for Tito Ortiz against Liddell and proceeded to end the MMA legend’s career. Silva looked to be on the brink of seeing his UFC career come to a close as well before his TKO of Le gave him new life. The big question is, will he be motivated enough by the local fans to beat Franklin?
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