by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
Wanderlei Silva doesn’t care where Rich Franklin trains – when they meet at UFC 99 in June, he plans to win.
A recent report indicated Franklin was bound for middleweight champ Anderson Silva’s camp at the newly completed Black House gym in Los Angeles.
Before the June fight was booked, Franklin told Fighters Only he was planning a trip to Wanderlei’s gym afterwards. The two genuinely like each other outside of the cage, and have expressed regret about the match-up.
Wanderlei’s relationship with Anderson, however, has not been sunny as of late. The former training partners have sparred over Wanderlei’s move to middleweight, with Wanderlei declaring war on the pound-for-pound great via Sherdog.com.
Although Anderson on Monday told tatame.com he was unaware of Franklin’s plans, and would likely stay away from direct training with Franklin, Wanderlei said he would not take the move as a slight.
“It’s smart, because Silva has a lot of techniques,” he told MMAWeekly.com on Monday. “It’s possible for him to train with who he wants. For me, it doesn’t matter, because I’m going to beat him. It’s possible he could train with Mike Tyson – I’m going to beat him.
“It’s a professional time for MMA, and everybody needs to go to the best place for having the best options. Maybe Anderson is a good option for him, because Anderson beat him two times.”
Silva prides himself on an open door policy at his gym and says Franklin is still welcome.
“My gym’s professional,” he continued. “The guys don’t need to use my flag to train here. It’s possible a guy comes, trains, and uses his flag. It’s a professional gym – it’s open for all.”
Of bigger concern are fighters who aren’t serious about their training.
“I just don’t want the bad guys, the guys in bad condition,” he said. “Outside here I don’t like the guys drinking, going to the nightclub, the guys smoking. No. These guys I don’t want. But the professional guys, in good condition, in good fighters – no problem.”
Silva says he’s still building a fight team for his gym, and it’s a work in progress. In the mean time, he’s preparing for Franklin, and unconcerned whether Anderson will pass on any secrets.
“He explained he wanted to come train here after the fight, no problem,” said Silva. “He’s a gentleman, I talked with him a lot of times. I’m so happy to fight with him, because he likes to fight, (he’s) not afraid. Because if you fight with one guy who’s afraid of you, it’s hard because there’s no action.”