Quick climb

JOSE RODRIGUEZ -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:38 PM ET

Don't tell Anderson (Spider) Silva he hasn't been in the Ultimate Fighting Championship long enough to deserve a title shot.

After an impressive debut taking out Chris Leben with a devastating knee, the UFC newcomer says he owes no explanation for getting a shot at middleweight champ Rich (Ace) Franklin at UFC 64.

"They gave me a chance to fight for the title and I'm going to take it," says the Muay Thai specialist.

"They've given other people a chance to fight for the title but they didn't make the best of their opportunity. Me, I'm going to make sure I make the best of it."

Franklin's last title defence was a lopsided scrap against Canadian David (The Crow) Loiseau.

Franklin chased Loiseau around the Octagon for much of the fight as the Canadian tried in vain to duck Franklin's relentless onslaught.

Franklin, who won the fight by unanimous decision, broke his foot and suffered other injuries in the March 4, 2006, bout that kept him out of commission for months.

But in his absence, the notoriously weak middleweight class has failed to produce an obvious No. 1 contender.

Enter Silva.

The 31-year-old Brazilian -- whose overall mixed-martial arts record is 16 and 4 -- has fought in PRIDE and is a four-time middleweight champ in Cage Rage.

He's no stranger to big fights and has tasted championship glory.

Still, the father of four, who gets his nickname for his love of Spiderman, says getting a shot at the UFC belt is a dream come true.

Though he admits the man standing between him and the top prize, is one of the best in the world.

"Rich Franklin is a great fighter and a great person and he needs to be respected because right now he is the champion," says Silva.

"I'll probably be training twice as hard as I normally do."

The two will fight Oct. 14 in Las Vegas.

FIGHT NOTES:

- The UFC has come under fire recently for its low purses paid to fighters. Many undercard fighters are getting as little as $5,000 to fight. By contrast, light-heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell made $250,000 for disposing of Renato (Babalu) Sobral at last week's UFC 62 in a mere 95 seconds. That's $2,631.58 per second. Chuck is obviously not complaining about his paycheque.

- Mark Friday Sept. 29 on your calendar. King of the Cage returns to the Calgary Corral with a solid card including a KOTC World Lightweight title match between champ Mac Danzig and John Mahlow. The gals are also back to scrap again as Thricia Poovey tries to avenge her loss against Rebecca Sweeney. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster 770-0000.

- Former UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver -- the only man to ever hold that title -- will fight at UFC 63 in Anaheim Sept. 23. It will be Lil Evil's first time in the Octagon in four years. He will take on Joe Lauzon. The UFC did away with the lightweight division years ago but has recently reintroduced it.

- The full UFC 63 card is as follows: Champ Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn in welterweight title match; Mike Swick vs. David Loiseau; Jens Pulver vs. Joe Lauzon; Rashad Evans vs. Jason Lambert; Gabe Ruediger vs. Melvin Guillard; Jorge Gurgel vs. Danny Abaddi; Tyson Griffin vs. David Lee; Roger Huerta vs. Jason Reinhardt; Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mario Neto.


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