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Silva Bags Quick UFC TKO of Franklin
Sherk Captures Lightweight Title

By Andrew Levine
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, October 15, 2006; Page E04

Anderson Silva's striking ability had earned him a decorated reputation overseas, but to much of the American public he remained largely unknown, flashing just a glimpse of his devastating potential during his impressive Ultimate Fighting Championship debut this summer.

The Brazilian finally announced his presence in resounding fashion last night, landing a torrent of knees to earn a first-round technical knockout and win the middleweight title from Rich Franklin during UFC 64 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Perhaps more than any other time during his dominant three-year run in the UFC, there were questions hovering over Franklin (22-2) heading into this fight, most of which centered on a broken left hand that had sidelined him since March.

So it only compounded matters that Franklin's return came against an opponent of Silva's stature. Silva (17-4) was competing in just his second UFC fight, but had already forged an impressive career while competing mainly in Japan, where he was known as a fierce striker and an underrated grappler.

Silva immediately controlled Franklin in the clinch, clutching the champion's head with his hands and landing a knee midway through the round that left him dazed. Silva, who knocked out Chris Leben with a knee during his UFC debut in June, didn't relent. He landed another knee flush on Franklin's nose, followed by a pair of high kicks and another knee that floored Franklin and forced referee John McCarthy to stop the fight 3 minutes 59 seconds in.

"Honestly, I was not expecting him to be that strong in the clinch, and when we clinched up I was expecting that to be my sweet spot and it gave me a lot of trouble," Franklin said.
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