Rich Franklin Would Love To Fight Anderson Silva Again
It’s been seven years since Rich Franklin last competed, when he picked up just the seventh loss in his illustrious career. The loss to Cung Le at UFC Macau signaled a shift of career soon after.
Now, acting as a ONE Championship Vice President, Franklin revealed that he would love a third bout with Anderson Silva, to extract the two stoppage losses to the Brazilian. The former UFC middleweight champion made the statement while talking to theScore (as transcribed by BJPenn.com).
“I would love to dance with Anderson again. And I believe I could beat him. But that’s the kind of mentality you have to have as an athlete, right?”
Franklin further teased the idea of a return fight with his fellow former UFC 185lbs champion, who he praised for his longevity in the sport.
“It’s amazing seeing somebody that at our age is still competing and trust me, on a realistic note, I think about it from time to time. It’s what you love to do. That’s why Anderson is still competing. Because it’s what he loves to do. I love competition, I love martial arts, I love training. So don’t think I don’t occasionally maybe get that bug.”
Franklin has also been comtemplating on ‘what could have been’ match ups that didn’t pan out.
Talking to MMA Junkie, ‘Ace’ named two athletes whom he thought could have given everyone a fun encounter with himself, during his tenure in the UFC.
“There’s some fun people – there’s some people that would have been a fun matchup, for sure. I think [Michael] Bisping and I would put on a really entertaining match. There was talk about that for some time. I was, at one point in time, matched up with [Rogerio] Nogueira and he got injured. I think that would have been a fun fight to watch, as well,” he said.
Franklin was on the verge of meeting Nogueira at UFC 133 in 2011 but it was cancelled after ‘Lil Nog’ suffered an injury prior to the fight.
The 45 year old further detailed his storied run in the UFC, where he accumulated an impressive thirteen wins in the incredibly stacked middleweight division. Including wins over Ken Shamrock, Yushin Okami, Wanderlei Silva (twice) and Chuck Liddell.
“When you look at my career, from the moment I stepped into the big stage there in the UFC, my first match in the UFC was Evan Tanner. He was 8-1 at the time and his only loss was to Tito Ortiz. So from the moment I stepped into the big league, I was really swimming with the sharks,” Franklin stated.
“After I won the title, from that moment on, this sport in particular, you don’t get any tomato cans. Everybody that you’re matched up against in mixed martial arts is the number one contender every single time. And even after I lost my title, I still maintained main event status all the way till the end of my career. I was always fighting either top-five guys or former champions from the UFC or some other organisation. My entire career was swimming with the sharks.”
So impressive was his storied career, Rich Franklin was inducted to the UFC Hall Of Fame this past summer.