The UFC returned to Brazil on Saturday night with another sold out show – and a new Brazilian attendance record of 16,643.
The show this time featured an instant classic between old rivals Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva. In the rematch of the great UFC 99 war three years ago, ‘Ace’ Franklin returned from a career-threatening shoulder injury to beat ‘the Axe Murderer’ on points after a blazing five round battle.
Silva – fighting in his native Brazil for the first time in over a decade – came close to finishing the bout with ground and pound in the second round, but ultimately had to settle for giving his rabid fans yet another unforgettable war.
Franklin said: “I can’t remember rounds three and four to be honest. I know I get knocked down and he was all over me, but next thing I remember is my corner telling me ‘this is the last round’. Fighting Wanderlei is like fighting a hurricane.”
Silva said: “I wanted to give the fans here a great fight. I’m sorry I didn’t finish the fight when I had the chance, but Rich Franklin is very tough. This was a great fight.”
The next UFC Pay-Per-View event takes place July 7, with Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen rematch for the Middleweight Championship in the main event of UFC 148.