Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin isn't looking to quietly walk away from MMA. Absent from the cage since his 2012 knockout loss to Cung Le, fans have wondered if they'd seen the last of the teacher turned fighter. Speaking with Submission Radio, Franklin says not only does he have unfinished business in the sport, but that he'd love to face fellow former champion Anderson Silva a third time.
"Would I fight Anderson a third time? Absolutely," says Franklin. "Is it because I feel like I have some unfinished business? Not at all. It's just, in my mind as a champion and to have the mentality of a champion I 100% wholeheartedly believe that I can beat Anderson in a fight."
Silva first captured his title in a stunning first-round, TKO victory over Franklin at UFC 64 in October 2006. It would be the start to the longest running title reign in UFC history.
"It wouldn't be for any reason like redemption of vengeance or retribution or any other kinda cool word that we've seen on a UFC poster before, but yeah I would fight him and I believe I could beat him."
As for Silva's on-going recovery from a broken leg, Franklin can certainly sympathize. 'Ace' hasn't won back-to-back fights since scoring a pair of TKO wins against Matt Hamill and Travis Lutter in 2008, much of which could likely be attributed to a struggle to stay healthy.
"Now, I have a plate in my hand much like Anderson has a rod in his leg and I know how difficult that is," says Franklin. "Fortunately, I'm hitting things direct, straight impact where Anderson is moving his leg like a ball bat, so I really don't understand how he's gonna be able to kick with that leg in the future, because it's his left, it's his rear leg, it's his kicking leg. So I don't know how he's going to be able to move forward that way with that leg."
"We'll see what Anderson does on the backend of his career but I'd look for him to return and I'd look for him to hunt for the title again at some point in time," says Franklin. "We'll just see if he can get there."
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Controversy. After he collapsed off his stool and was allowed to continue fighting, RFA's Junior Maranhao doesn't understand what the fuss is all about. "I know that the image is shocking, but we've seen worse things in the UFC, guys that go out and get back. I think that the doctors made the right call."
Shad on Reem. Rashad Evans says Alistair Overeem needs to sort out his issues if he wants to flourish with Team Jackson. "The funny thing was, he would run his own camps and bring his own people in, then go out there and lose and blame everybody but himself."
Rowdy. Bjorn Rebney thinks Ronda Rousey has a ways to go before we can call her MMA's biggest star. "I would never want to verbalize disrespect for a fighter ... but to characterize her as the biggest star in MMA is, I believe, a little disrespectful to a lot of fighters who have put in year after year after year in this game."
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As always, make sure to check out our Pro's React piece from UFC Fight Night: Abu Dhabi.
Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) April 12, 2014
Victory Lap!! pic.twitter.com/QX82Qpsk1Z— Clay Guida (@clayguida) April 13, 2014
Ryan LaFlare (@RLaFlare) April 12, 2014
I want to thank everyone for the support couldn't have asked for a better result— Ramsey Nijem (@RamseyNijem) April 12, 2014
Better luck next time.
日本へ帰ります。 さよならアブダビ。 ありがとう！ Thank you a lot of support! Thank you Abu Dhabi. Goodbye Abu Dhabi.— 川尻達也tatsuya kawajiri (@CRUSHER_MMA) April 12, 2014
Just arrived in the states. Going to spend time with family, then reply to everyone and their kind words. God bless you.— Beneil Dariush (@beneildariush_) April 12, 2014
Should we be worried about Wandy?
No, no, no... The math teacher doesn't walk away. I put him away. You got one good one left. I'm not asking...— chael sonnen (@sonnench) April 13, 2014
What would you like me to call u? Mr Franklin? Rich? Richard? Dick? Ace? Just call me the 1 who ended ur career. Now I'll take a berry blast— chael sonnen (@sonnench) April 14, 2014
Sad to see it end.
Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) April 13, 2014
Calling out a guy who just got KO'd?
I don't really feel like he won the 2nd fight. I did all the damage, sub attempts, & aggression. Let's see who finishes this best of 3.— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) April 12, 2014
Get well soon.
Tito lays it out.
Announced this weekend (Apr. 11-13 2014)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Eriksson Lau.
After about 8 months of WMMA previews (monthly, biweekly, weekly etc) and recaps of them, I will miss my own deadline of 'WMMA Preview April Week 1-2'. And this was on a very active week of fights too! Holly Holm, Ronda's BFF of sorts, Seo Hee Ham and a 10-0 19 year old Brazilian prospect. Hopefully, this will be a first and only that!
I think something is better than nothing, so here's what I have... (it's been a while MMAFighting/BloodyElbow fanpost section)
135lbs: Holly Holm def. Juliana Werner via 5th round TKO
Just another highlight, another passenger on the Holly Holm hype train
Holm did this with a fractured left arm.
The brief moments of any grappling, Holm looked uncomfortable and unsure of herself. She's must-watch, but I'm confident she would get wrecked by Ronda and Cyborg. I'd even pick Zingano to beat Holm, if it's the Zingano that goes for takedowns.
Her technique is absolutely superb, but does she really have to grunt after every strike? I even heard her grunt after moving away from a strike.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.