Rich Franklin Open to Third Bout with Anderson Silva

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion Rich Franklin will return to the 185 pound division, to face Sanshou standout Cung Le at UFC 148.

After getting bested twice by current middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Franklin decided to give the light-heavyweight division a try. Franklin wasn’t particularly impressive at 205; winning only two of his four fights in the division (he went 1-1 in two 195-pound catch-weight bouts).

Obviously not a serious contender in the light-heavyweight division, Franklin feels his decision to return to the middleweight division might bring him closer to a title shot. He’s being pretty realistic about the whole process though, and he seems to understand he’ll have his work cut out for him.

“When you start talking about moving down to 185, people automatically start talking about the title,” Franklin said in recent interview. “Another title run and winning the title will be a Cinderella story way to finish a career. Anybody would say the same thing, so it would be great. I got Cung in front of me now, and he’s a tough opponent, and I’ve had a long layoff. So I really have to worry about that first. But, if I was able to put a title run together and the UFC wanted to do another fight with Anderson, I would be willing to do another fight with Anderson. And I believe – this is just because of the champion mentality in my head – given another shot I could win the fight.”

At 37 years old, Franklin just might be able to put together a title run (older MMA fighters have done so in the past), but I can’t really see a third fight against Silva happening. For one, I’m not sure Silva will be around much longer, given the fact there’s not much left for him to accomplish in the sport. Given the magnitude of Anderson’s next fight against Chael Sonnen at UFC 147, I wouldn’t be surprised if he decides to hang up his gloves after giving his fellow Brazilians a spectacular show.

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