After suffering a second crushing defeat at the hands of Anderson Silva, many thought that the middleweight road ahead would be too bumpy for Rich Franklin to bother walking through yet again. And so it seems Franklin has in fact decided to give light heavyweight another go, however his opponent is far from determined at this point.
“Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (23-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) will restart his quest for another title shot this fall – most likely at a UFC 88 event in Atlanta – though it won’t necessarily come at 185 pounds.
A source closed to the Sept. 6 event tells MMAjunkie.com that Franklin has been targeted for the event, and the search for an opponent “is in full swing.” However, when contacted for comment, J.T. Stewart, Franklin’s business manager, said nothing definitive has been decided and that he had no other comment.”
The article added that Franklin’s return to the 205 pound weight class could only be temporary, and that “Ace” and his to-be-decided opponent would serve as the co-main event for UFC 88. Franklin defeated Ken Shamrock with ease in his last venture into the LHW division, which was in April of 2005.
As awesome as it was witnessing the hypnotic beatings Anderson Silva layed upon Rich Franklin, you had to feel just a little sympathetic for the guy who could seemingly defeat anyone and everyone, save for the pesky Brazilian who took his strap and repeatedly re-arranged his face. Luckily for Franklin, there really doesn’t seem to be anyone quite like “The Spider” in the LHW order (except perhaps for Silva himself if he remains at light heavyweight). If Franklin does decide to make 205 pounds his new home, he just might get back into contention for that precious UFC gold. Not to mention that at only 33 years old, I feel like the former high school math teacher still has plenty of highlight reels left in him.