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Rich Franklin Enjoying Time Off; No Timetable Yet for UFC Return

Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin is no closer to returning to the octagon after taking the last two months off, he told FanHouse.

The well-respected UFC warhorse, who fought his last two contests at catchweights of 195 pounds, has been enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation after his most recent bout, a September TKO loss at the hands of Vitor Belfort.

"I am not sure about my return in 2010," he told FanHouse. "I know I need a few months off. I will wake up one morning and say, 'It's time to fight.' Until then, I'm getting some much needed time."

The popular Ohio-based athlete, who turned 35 in October, has been one of the UFC's most active and versatile fighters in recent years, competing in eight matches since 2007.

At 26-5 with one no contest, Franklin has spent the last 18 months bouncing around weight classes, fighting matches in the middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions, along with a pair of 195-pound catchweight fights.

After defeating Wanderlei Silva by decision in a rough and tumble battle at UFC 99, he was called back into action just three months later by UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva when the organization needed a headliner for UFC 103. Originally scheduled to face Dan Henderson, the fight soon fell apart, and he agreed to face Belfort.

Franklin's return in 2010 will likely come as a light-heavyweight. In the interim, there had been some discussions about adding to his film resume (he starred in 2008's "Cyborg Soldier" and has also taped smaller roles in a pair of other films), but mostly, he's focused on resting his body and mind.

"There is nothing concrete," he told FanHouse. "We have done a couple of readings for parts, but nothing set in stone. Mostly just [enjoying] a little down time."

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