They actually wanted a fighter who had beaten somebody decent in their career. Franklin doesn't count.
- Former Middleweight champion with two successful defenses
- Holds notable wins over Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Yushin Okami, Matt Hamill, Nate Quarry, Travis Lutter, Jorge Rivera, and Ken Shamrock. That's a pretty decent list, in my opinion
- Only losses are against former Zuffa champions, including a questionable decision loss to Dan Henderson and a competitive fight with a much larger Forrest Griffin.
- Veteran of 20 UFC fights, pro MMA competitor for 14 years.
- Never been submitted
To say Rich Franklin isn't accomplished or hasn't beaten anyone of note is honestly pretty ridiculous. The man's a legend and a surefire future UFC HoFer.
I'll concede that I think Hughes had a better career. His resume speaks for itself, and I think Matt could beat a lot of guy if he were still fighting today.
They could have held off a bit longer and hooked Franklin into this position and he would have been a much better choice.
Franklin will probably get an ambassador position of some sorts, if I had to guess. I can't imagine Rich being too interested in being a "Code of Conduct" guy. Matt's the kind of ethnocentric douchebag who probably relishes in enforcing his personal moral code on others.