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Any Weight, Anytime...
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Exclusive: Rich Franklin Plans Run At UFC Light Heavyweight Title

http://www.cagepotato.com/exclusive-rich-franklin-plans-run-ufc-light-heavyweight-title



Speaking exclusively with CagePotato.com on Thursday afternoon, Rich Franklin revealed that his days as a middleweight in the UFC are likely numbered and that he is planning on making the best of his new permanent home at light heavyweight by working towards a title shot in his final five fights on his contract.

According to the former UFC middleweight champ, the decision to abandon the weight class he once reigned over in the Octagon was not entirely a personal one.

"The UFC has repeatedly told me that they aren't interested in seeing me fight at 185 any more. Because of that, I moved up to 205. It all comes down to the fact that they didn't want to do a Franklin-Silva III," Franklin explains. "I'm a 'never say never' type of guy, but the problem is that if the UFC doesn't want to see me do a title match at 185, ultimately I would be stuck fighting in that weight class without ever being able to fight for a title again, which would make no sense since that is the whole reason we do this and the goal we work towards as fighters."

Having fought his last two fights at a catchweight of 195 pounds because of both previous opponents' inability to make 185, Franklin says although he was comfortable fighting at that weight, doing so didn't help his ultimate goal of earning a title shot at 205.

"Fighting at 195 isn't that bad for me physically because I can cut down to that weight without cutting into the muscle that I have. If I cut back down to 185, it's a completely different cut to make it and I will have completely undone everything I've done to put on the size I have. I want to make a run for the title and I don't want to keep doing things that are counterproductive to that, like fights at 195."

Standing in the way of his run at Lyoto Machida's belt is former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, who Franklin will face at UFC 115 on June 12 in Vancouver. Paying little attention to the critics who have written "The Iceman" off before the pair even touch gloves, Franklin says he expects Liddell to be ready and looking to prove all of his detractors wrong, come fight night.

"You can't count Chuck out of any fight. Yeah, he hasn't fought in a year, and yeah, he's lost four of his past five fights, but look at what he's done over the span of his career," Franklin asserts. "He's a legend and he has beaten such an incredible list of opponents, it would be a huge mistake to look past a guy like him."
 

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Too bad more fighters aren't like em...

It's weird I don't really want to see any of em lose. Maybe a hard fought three round decision would work as Chuck can retire with dignity.
 

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he should just wait a fight or 2 til Silva moves up, then he can move down.

he is still a great MW.

i just think the UFC knows if Silva moves up, Rich may very well be MW champion again.... a guy that Silva demolished 2x.... it would make the division look like a joke.

That sucks for Rich tho. What weight you fight at should be entirely your own choice and a promotion should never say you cant fight so and so again if you clearly earn it.

sometimes its harder to be #2 then anything else.
 
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I'm pulling for Rich to move up and make the move. To me he represents what a guy in the sport should be.

That said... I dunno if he'll be able to beat Chuck. It doesn't really matter how Chuck has done in his past four fights because as Franklin said, look at Chuck's history. A single counter punch and it's night night for Franklin. Not being able to finish in his past couple fights has hurt Franklin and I worry he may become aggressive, feeding into Chuck.

Screw it though, I'm pulling for Franklin.

Wouldn't it be interesting though if Franklin ended up facing Silva again at 205 and for some reason wound up winning?
 

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Have to respect Franklin, he is one of the first of the "modern day" mixed martial artists with very versalite all around game and no huge weaknesses at anything he does. However young super talented guys like Shogun will keep causing problems to him as they do everything he does but better. And lets face it, Rich isn't THAT old yet, but he isn't getting any younger either.
He'll keep fighting well over 40 (if he wants to) as his work ethic is second to pretty much no-one, but he'll never have complete enough striking game to really challenge Silva and Vitor at MW or Shogun and Machida at LHW.
 

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Curitiba Food and Liquor
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I'm pulling for Rich to move up and make the move. To me he represents what a guy in the sport should be.

That said... I dunno if he'll be able to beat Chuck. It doesn't really matter how Chuck has done in his past four fights because as Franklin said, look at Chuck's history. A single counter punch and it's night night for Franklin. Not being able to finish in his past couple fights has hurt Franklin and I worry he may become aggressive, feeding into Chuck.

Screw it though, I'm pulling for Franklin.

Wouldn't it be interesting though if Franklin ended up facing Silva again at 205 and for some reason wound up winning?
Interesting is one of the words I'd use. "The earth's magnetic pole altering" would be another phrase that comes to mind, and this is coming from an Ace fan.

I really don't want to see poor Rich's nose busted up again by Silva. That would be an incredible fight, and it would demonstrate once again Franklin's boundless heart if he was willing to step to Silva yet again.
 

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believe it or not i think franklin has a chnce to make a splash at lhw-as long as he avoids AS and chooses the right opponents. Franklin is a good fighter and he can win or at least make it a fight against Machida, Shogun, Page, and Rahsad. I wont count him out until after his next fight, although the loss to belfort might have signaled the end.
 

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Lets keep stacking the lhw division!

I understand Franklin's decision, but man...there goes one of the best mw's, now who's left...marquart, and sonnen basically. MW sucks.
I think it's a good decision as long as ANDERSON is the champ,I think Anderson has his number every time, but feel in some ways he'd have a better shot at lhw, I think the fight against Chuck can go either way, although I think Chuck will beat him.
Personally I don't see Franklin winning a belt again anytime soon as I think the level of skill now is too high, but stranger things have happened.
 

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Franklin is a good LHW, but I still feel the division is too big and strong for him. Most all of the crappier LHW's like Vera, Bonnar, Polish dude, etc, Franklin would stomp. Against the top guys:

T. Silva - I see Franklin picking this slow and generic fighter apart.

Rampage - Would be similar to the Forrest fight, with Franklin outworking him and hoping not to get caught. But if he gets caught, its over.

Evans - Would be a really good fight. Could go either way, but I feel Rich's best bet would be to try and submit him.

Shogun - Rich would lose.

Lyoto - Would be a decision for either person involved. I don't see Lyoto mauling him again, Rich has improved way too much.

Little Nog - That would be a very great fight. Not sure.

Griffin - I see Franklin taking this pretty easily.


At MW the only potential threat to him is Belfort obviously. Franklin would absolutely wreck every single other MW out there.
 

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Chuck will beat him :)
I honestly don't see it happening. Rich has too much speed and patience for Chuck. Sure, he got KTFO against Vitor but Vitor is fast and has a lot of power. Chuck has slowed considerably and counter-punches now almost exclusively. If Rich hangs back and picks him apart then it's his fight to lose.
 
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