It's getting harder to think Rich Franklin isn't just Captain America incarnate. If you ever needed any extra proof of the man's astounding sense of loyalty and devotion to his employers, take a look at yesterday.
With the UFC in dire need of a replacement headliner for their crumbling Brazilian pay-per-view -- you know, the one that started out with declarations of Silva-Sonnen II and Belfort-Silva II in an 80,000 seat soccer stadium, and now sports Mike Russow on the poster for a 20,000-ish seat arena -- the promotion called on the quintessential company man, Mr. Franklin, to abandon his UFC 148 bout opposite Cung Le, and accept a UFC 147 rematch against Wanderlei Silva on three weeks notice.
And of course he accepted it. Did you really think he wouldn't?
At this point, Franklin's company-man-résumé has to be one of the most impressive pieces of paper in MMA history. From getting booted out of his natural weight class by Anderson Silva, to playing the good guy in limbo and fighting a couple former light heavyweights who needed to work off a few pounds, Franklin's had a tough run.
Not to mention saving TUF 11 at the last second, signing-on for another fight that pushed him nowhere close to contention (and unfortunately made him the man that uppercutted UFC icon Chuck Liddell into retirement), then accepting gatekeeper status when officials wanted red-hot prospect Alexander Gustafsson to replace Lil' Nog at UFC 133, even though in his own words, "there was nothing really appealing about the fight," only to have the UFC drop him from the card a few weeks out and Dana White go on record claiming Franklin turned down the fight, leading to a thousand ‘Franklin Ducked Gustafsson' headlines. (Of course, "Ace" got injured immediately afterward.)
And now he's the hero for the hundredth time, fighting "The Ax Murderer" on late notice for his first appearance since shoulder surgery. Don't worry, the six-figure lifetime UFC gig Franklin has to have nailed down by now makes everything totally worth it.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Rich Franklin replaces Vitor Belfort. Premier company man Rich Franklin replaced the injured Vitor Belfort opposite Wanderlei Silva in the headlining match of UFC 147. Franklin and Silva will square off in a 190-pound catchweight bout.
Amateur MMA fighter dies. 26-year-old amateur MMA fighter Dustin Jenson tragically passed away after competing in an unregulated MMA event in South Dakota on May 18, 2012. If you'd like to offer your help towards the devastating situation, Jenson's friends set up a website to accept donations for medical and funeral expenses.
Passengers in Jones' vehicle during DWI. Two 25-year-old female passengers were present in Jon Jones' vehicle with he crashed into a pole on May 19 and subsequently pled guilty to DWI, according to a report by Loretta Hunt.
Shane Carwin cleared. Following a lengthy recovery from back surgery, former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin has been cleared for contact and is eyeing a return in the "early fall" of 2012.
Roy Nelson sets record straight. Affable UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson discussed his perceived problem landing sponsors, how MMA's PED issue is specifically rampant in the UFC, and his aspirations to wrestle alongside "King Mo" Lawal in a tagteam he dubbed The Country Kings.
There are three Jones brothers. One is veteran NFL player, one is the UFC world champion, and one just became a first-round NFL draft pick. That just doesn't seem fair.
Phil Baroni is such a boss, even mundane activities end up in shenanigans.
Our takeaway from Fedor's spiffy new Mercedes ad -- how much cooler are Russian commercials than their American counterparts? (HT: MiddleEasy)
Is BJ Penn retired or not? Well, no one really knows, least of all BJ, but at least he's willing to give us an update on the situation.
REFERRING TO YOURSELF IN THIRD-PERSON NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE
ALMOST HAD IT
I am in a cast (see pic) so unfortunately I cannot take the fight with wanderlei but I would if I could twitpic.com/9qzhwp— alan belcher ufc (@alanbelcherufc) May 30, 2012
I'm great right now. I feel free.— Jason Mayhem Miller (@mayhemmiller) May 30, 2012
Announced yesterday (Wednesday, May 30, 2012):
- UFC 147: Vitor Belfort (21-9) out, Rich Franklin (28-6) in against Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) at 190-pound catchweight (Franklinweight)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Dangalvan help y'all out, and y'all know who you are: Missed This Season's TUF? I've Got Your Back!
Don't tell Dana White I said this, but nobody watched this season of The Ultimate Fighter (seriously don't tell him, last thing I want is him bringing up my sketchy past with Taco Bell). Obviously that's an extreme hyperbole, but this season, the one that was supposed to reinvigorate the series (don't we hear that every season?), was one of the lowest rated in the history of the show.
If you are like me, then you are a morbidly attractive Mexican and you probably didn't catch much of this season's Ultimate Fighter. Also if your like me then you are probably a bit nervous as to who you are going to pick on the upcoming finale card this Friday.
That's why I decided to be somewhat productive. Other than socializing with people, eating, sleeping, and being physically active, I have nothing else to do, so I'm going to embark on a marathon. Not one that involves anything that'll make me live longer, but a marathon of this season's TUF.
I'll tell you what you need to (I.E. fights, story lines, etc.), and I'll keep it concise. Alright, enough with the cheesy intro, let's get to the recaps!
All the recaps of the entire season of The Ultimate Fighter are after the jump.
Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.