by Jeff Cain & – MMAWeekly.com
Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva disposed of Rich “Ace” Franklin on Saturday night at UFC 77 in Cincinnati to retain his title.

He finished Franklin, winning the middleweight belt, in just under three minutes in October of last year. It took him twice as long this time, garnering a TKO victory at 1:07 of the second round.

“I thought Rich fought much better than he did the first time,” Silva told MMAWeekly.com. “He defended the clinch in a much better fashion this time. Rich fought well. I was just fortunate enough to fight a little bit better than Rich.”

He waited patiently in the opening moments of the bout before nearly finishing Franklin with a stunning combination of strikes at the end of the first round. Saved by the bell, Franklin was barely about to return to his corner between rounds.

“I was trying to find the right time to do what I was trying to do,” commented Silva on his performance.

“Overall, I felt I fought alright. I want to go back and watch the tapes and see the mistakes I made to try to improve on them for the next time.”

Silva has dominated his way to the top of the UFC middleweight ladder, but continues to look towards the future.

“I’m looking forward to trying to move to the United States, to Los Angeles, as soon as possible, keep training hard and try to improve on the mistakes I made, and keep putting on performances that all the fans around the world are going to appreciate watching.”

When asked whom he would like to fight next, Silva responded with the one opponent that UFC president Dana White may find impossible to recruit.

“In a perfect world, I’d love to fight my clone.”