The Cincinnati native took on Wanderlei Silva in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in a 190-pound catchweight fight. The fight aired live on pay-per-view.
The fight was a rematch from three years ago when Franklin defeated Silva by unanimous decision in the main event at UFC 99.
The first round opened with both fighters trying to find their range and pace themselves for a five round fight. Near the end of the first, Franklin started to out land Silva with his technical striking.
The second round started a lot like the first round ended. “Ace” was able to push forward and counter Silva’s wild strikes but Franklin quickly realized why Silva is still one of the most dangerous fighters in the world.
Silva was able to clip Franklin with an overhand right that sent Franklin backing up. “The Axe Murder” quickly pushed forward with a barrage of wild punches that eventually sent Franklin to the mat.
Silva jumped on top and began to unload punches and elbows. Franklin was able to move around just enough to make it to the third round.
At the start of the third, the former middleweight champion looked like he had recovered after nearly being finished at the end of the second.
Franklin was able to push forward and pick Silva apart for most of the third round. Right at the end of the round, Franklin was able to score a takedown and land some punches from the top position.
By the start of the fourth round, the former Pride champion was starting to look tired. Franklin, who still looked fresh, continued to push forward and picked Silva apart for the majority of the fourth round.
In the fifth and final round, Franklin was able to continue to push forward and land the more significant strikes.
In the final minute of the fight, Silva finally unleashed his wild style trying to finish the fight in a highlight reel fashion but Franklin was able to drop Silva as the bell sounded.
The fight would go to the judges and all three judges scored the fight 49-46 in favor of Franklin. UFC president Dana White announced that the fight was awarded "Fight of the Night" and each Silva and Franklin would be awarded a 65 thousand dollar bonus.
With the win, Franklin improves his record to 29-6 and has now won 14 fights in the UFC.
With the loss, Silva drops to 34-12 and has now lost two out of his last three fights.