CINCINNATI – The following chart compares Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin on a rating of 1 to 10 in several categories heading into their middleweight championship fight at UFC 77 Saturday at U.S. Bank Arena:
Keys to victory
1. Stay standing: If he can keep the fight on his feet, Silva's power and quickness make him a solid favorite.
1. Ground work:. Franklin has a solid ground game and should take the first opportunity to hit the deck.
2. Work the clinch: Silva won the fight last time by besting Franklin in the clinch.
2. Double the jab: In the standup, Franklin can't allow Silva to fire at will. By doubling up on the jab, he can negate Silva's power and perhaps open something for himself.
3. Center it: Silva needs to keep the fight in the center of the ring and not allow himself to be trapped along the cage.
3. Use his kicks: Franklin needs to vary his attack and his powerful kicks are a significant weapon.
Rating the fighters
Comparison of champion Anderson Silva and challenger Rich Franklin.
Silva may be the game's premier puncher.
Unlikely either man will be looking to wrestle.
Franklin has the ability to hurt Silva with a kick.
Each is a splendid finisher.
Silva's got a terrific takedown defense.
Each possesses the power to knock the other out.
Franklin will probably try to get it to the ground and go for a tapout.
Franklin trained at a high altitude to prepare for a five-round battle.
Silva appeared stronger in the first fight.
Silva has the confidence of a decisive victor.
Franklin has undoubtedly made significant adjustments, particularly in dealing with the clinch. But Silva is a terrifically well-rounded fighter. Figure him to win by TKO in the fourth.
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