The Grapevine is MMA Universe's hotline to the hottest rumours doing the rounds on the internet. As always with "The Grapevine" you should take this with a pinch of salt until it is confirmed by an official source.
"I talked to a rock solid a source in Iowa and they are telling me that Rich Franklin desperately tried to pull out of his UFC middleweight title fight with Anderson Silva.
He was terribly sick, vomiting non-stop, shitting water, and very dehydrated. People around him said it looked like he was dying, they were afraid he wouldn't even be able to make the walk to the cage without passing out, or throwing up. But Dana White supposedly put the pressure on him, and supposedly made it known that Rich would have a VERY hard time making payments on the new house and couple hundred acres he just bought, if he ruined his main event.
Zuffa has a nice little set up going for themselves there. They have the guys signed to low guarantees, and basically, they only make real money if they sign their lives over to Zuffa. (Such as Matt Hughes, who is basically bought and paid for, and an indentured servant to Zuffa for the rest of his life, after a recent situation they supposedly bailed him out of.) They control all the sponsorship deals, the Xyience contracts, and who gets the PPV back-end points.
Dana could have had the Xyience deal taken away, and started putting Rich in the 1st fight of the night, where he would only make the USD$21,000 downside.
Sometime in the future, most people in the business feel this is going to blow up on them in a big way."
The Grapevine: Franklin Extremely Unwell at UFC 64 - MMAUniverse.com