UFC 133: Rich Franklin turned down a fight against Alexander Gustafsson

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Twenty20Dollars
7/22/11 2:58:36PM
article

When Rich Franklin was taken off the UFC 133 fight card, it was widely believed the promotion was unable to find him a suitable replacement for the injured Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on the Aug. 6 pay-per-view (PPV) in Philadelphia.

Turns out he had a suitable replacement, he just didn't want to fight him, because he wasn't a "top name guy."

Ready to step in was Alexander Gustafsson, the 24-year-old prospect out of Alliance and Gladius MMA who's lost just once in his budding professional career. That defeat came at the hands of fellow rising contender Phil Davis back at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, a second round submission (anaconda choke).
emfleek
7/22/11 2:59:52PM
I can't blame Rich for turning it down. He had a lot more to lose than he did to gain by taking that fight.
Twenty20Dollars
7/22/11 3:00:39PM
I think Alexander could have beat Franklin.

Could have just had Franklin vs Rashard. There's a top guy.
FastKnockout
7/22/11 3:05:03PM
Getting tired of seeing this. The UFC shouldn't give them a choice. If you lose, you lose. Don't be scared, homie.
Theoutlaw08
7/22/11 3:22:52PM

Posted by emfleek

I can't blame Rich for turning it down. He had a lot more to lose than he did to gain by taking that fight.



Agree, he had nothing to gain at all, and a lot to lose. Smart choice by Rich. Wait for a big name opponent and get back into it.
ghandikush
7/22/11 3:23:37PM

Posted by FastKnockout

Getting tired of seeing this. The UFC shouldn't give them a choice. If you lose, you lose. Don't be scared, homie.



Doesnt make sense to give poor stylistic matchups and force top fighters to lose..... unless it's tito in that case I enjoy.
cowcatcher
7/22/11 3:33:58PM
Rich only has a couple of fights left and wants them to be against big names, and I think he''s earned that. It sucks as a fan to lose a big fight, but some guys earn a little power over their own careers and Rich is one of those guys IMO.
Budgellism
7/22/11 3:35:20PM

Posted by cowcatcher

Rich only has a couple of fights left and wants them to be against big names, and I think he''s earned that. It sucks as a fan to lose a big fight, but some guys earn a little power over their own careers and Rich is one of those guys IMO.



This.
prozacnation1978
7/22/11 3:58:53PM
Rich should have stayed on the card for the fans who paid to watch him fight
Anyways their lose is my gain probably. I am still hoping he will land on
Denver card vs lil nog or davis
prophecy033
7/22/11 4:37:09PM

Posted by prozacnation1978

Rich should have stayed on the card for the fans who paid to watch him fight
Anyways their lose is my gain probably. I am still hoping he will land on
Denver card vs lil nog or davis

I just wanna see Franklin fighting someone, I love watching him bang
kingsmasher
7/22/11 4:51:43PM

Posted by emfleek

I can't blame Rich for turning it down. He had a lot more to lose than he did to gain by taking that fight.




Gotta agree here and the last string of upsets doesnt make you want to give a hungry fighter a shot even if sure u can beat him...
FastKnockout
7/22/11 4:59:08PM

Posted by ghandikush


Posted by FastKnockout

Getting tired of seeing this. The UFC shouldn't give them a choice. If you lose, you lose. Don't be scared, homie.



Doesnt make sense to give poor stylistic matchups and force top fighters to lose..... unless it's tito in that case I enjoy.



That's just it. This is a professional sport, and fighters shouldn't be able to turn down a fight just because they have a disadvantage stylistically, or they think they have a chance to lose. If that's the case, then this sport is joke, because there's no reason behind it. Guys are fighting to prove they are the best fighters, but it doesn't make sense if they don't want to fight a guy who is given to them. You can't be the best while you pick and choose your fights. You can't earn a name for yourself if you don't fight fighters with a name, and it will be impossible to do if they turn down the fights because you in fact haven't earned a name for yourself. For all we know, this could be his coming out fight. If he was to beat Franklin convincingly, then he has a chance to earn a name for himself. Look at it this way, what if Cro Cop had turned down the fight with Gonzaga because he didn't have a "name"? Or if Werdum would've turned down Junior dos Santos? All these new guys have to start somewhere, and the veterans can't stay at the top forever.
Patchedup15
7/22/11 5:02:43PM

Posted by emfleek

I can't blame Rich for turning it down. He had a lot more to lose than he did to gain by taking that fight.



Rich Franklin will NOT be a titleholder/ challenger again.. idk why he thinks taking a bad fight is that big a detriment. Yeah he's a decent fighter.. but he's coming off a loss, and lets be honest.. the guy just needs to fight who is put in front of him
KJKhaos
7/22/11 5:14:05PM

Posted by Patchedup15


Posted by emfleek

I can't blame Rich for turning it down. He had a lot more to lose than he did to gain by taking that fight.



Rich Franklin will NOT be a titleholder/ challenger again.. idk why he thinks taking a bad fight is that big a detriment. Yeah he's a decent fighter.. but he's coming off a loss, and lets be honest.. the guy just needs to fight who is put in front of him



With all the times Frankling bailed Dana and the UFC out of jams, I think he's earned the right to fight what he considers meaningful fights considering he's likely towards the end of his career. I don't think Rich is even thinking of making a run for the title so if he just wants interesting fights against known opponents I say give them to him.
Theoutlaw08
7/22/11 5:20:24PM
I agree. Franklin is at the point where he has paid his dues. He has bailed them out a bunch, he should be able to say yes and no without having any issues. If he wants a big name, he should get a big name fight. Looking forward to seeing him fight again soon, he is fun to cheer for because he is like a good guy in a movie....if that makes sense.
Kpro
7/22/11 5:27:32PM
He's already said he `won't be one of those guys who fights until they're 40` as recently as this month, and he turns 37 in about 2 months.

I wouldn't imagine he's planning on more than 3 or 4 more fights max.

I would've turned it down too.
Chael_Sonnen
7/22/11 5:37:33PM
Disagree with pretty much everyone.....Rich should have taken the fight.

Hindsight 20/20, Ace would have lost.
Kpro
7/22/11 5:43:11PM

Posted by Chael_Sonnen

Disagree with pretty much everyone.....Rich should have taken the fight.

Hindsight 20/20, Ace would have lost.



Gustafsson can hit, but his striking defense isn't impressive at all to me, technically, head movement, footwork, slipping punches etc. all of the above unimpressive. EDIT 2: Unimpressive to me in terms of UFC level striking, not trying to put the guy down, he'll only get better.

Unless he were to pull a Serra, Rich would have picked him apart badly. EDIT: and gained nothing from it.
Twenty20Dollars
7/22/11 5:50:57PM
It only makes me give more respect to the fighters who step in and take fights or will fight whoever.

I understand in a sense, it's basically the same thing Matt Hughes is doing.
kopower
7/22/11 7:07:59PM
I guess I don't blame Rich. Like others have said, he's paid his dues in and out of the octagon. I'd rather see him fight big names. I think he knows a title shot is more than likely out the window, so give him big names that will draw well.
Poor_Franklin
7/22/11 7:30:29PM
if he wins he gains NOTHING
if he loses, he loses to someone maybe 5 of his fans have heard of.
he's earned every bit of this privilege & shouldn't be thought of different for it.
he's proved he is a warrior & questioning that, to put it simply, is silly
Adrenaline
7/22/11 8:02:37PM

Posted by Twenty20Dollars

It only makes me give more respect to the fighters who step in and take fights or will fight whoever.

I understand in a sense, it's basically the same thing Matt Hughes is doing.




I know where you are coming from and maybe I'm just misunderstanding but what you described is exactly what Rich has done for the UFC his entire career, he has taken on all comers in two different weight divisions and stepped up to help the UFC on countless occasions. He turned down a fight that did little for his career and there are few people in the UFC who have earned that right and Frankilin is definately one of them.

I understand though, I love that fight anyone, anytime, any where attitude. That is why I'm a big fan of Liddell, Penn etc...
Aether
7/22/11 8:18:16PM

Posted by Chael_Sonnen

Disagree with pretty much everyone.....Rich should have taken the fight.

Hindsight 20/20, Ace would have lost.



I think people underestimate Rich Franklin quite a bit. I feel pretty confident that Gustafsson would have a very slim chance of winning this fight. I personally don't see what Gustafsson has shown that would make anyone think he can beat someone of Franklin's caliber when his biggest fight to date has been him getting dominated by Phil Davis. The two guys he beat were pretty 1 dimensional kickboxers without any sort of ground game.

I think Franklin would run straight through him pretty easily to be honest.
cowcatcher
7/22/11 8:47:47PM

Posted by Aether


Posted by Chael_Sonnen

Disagree with pretty much everyone.....Rich should have taken the fight.

Hindsight 20/20, Ace would have lost.



I think people underestimate Rich Franklin quite a bit. I feel pretty confident that Gustafsson would have a very slim chance of winning this fight. I personally don't see what Gustafsson has shown that would make anyone think he can beat someone of Franklin's caliber when his biggest fight to date has been him getting dominated by Phil Davis. The two guys he beat were pretty 1 dimensional kickboxers without any sort of ground game.

I think Franklin would run straight through him pretty easily to be honest.



I think that Rich is an afterthought to a lot of fans, but to me he's a guy that can beat anyone on any given night. I don't just mean that in the "puncher's chance" way either, he's still a very solid all around fighter with power in his strikes and maybe the meanest body kick this side of Bas. I'd still take him over a lot of fighters that people have in their top 10.
Pookie
7/22/11 8:54:05PM

Posted by Chael_Sonnen

Disagree with pretty much everyone.....Rich should have taken the fight.

Hindsight 20/20, Ace would have lost.



None of this post makes sense to me.

"Rich should have taken the fight... Ace would have lost" - Well clearly, Rich should not have taken the fight if he would have lost.

"Hindsight 20/20" - How can you declare hindsight is 20/20(in the context of the fight), when the fight never happened?

cowcatcher
7/22/11 8:56:40PM
Aether
7/22/11 9:11:42PM

Posted by cowcatcher


Posted by Aether


Posted by Chael_Sonnen

Disagree with pretty much everyone.....Rich should have taken the fight.

Hindsight 20/20, Ace would have lost.



I think people underestimate Rich Franklin quite a bit. I feel pretty confident that Gustafsson would have a very slim chance of winning this fight. I personally don't see what Gustafsson has shown that would make anyone think he can beat someone of Franklin's caliber when his biggest fight to date has been him getting dominated by Phil Davis. The two guys he beat were pretty 1 dimensional kickboxers without any sort of ground game.

I think Franklin would run straight through him pretty easily to be honest.



I think that Rich is an afterthought to a lot of fans, but to me he's a guy that can beat anyone on any given night. I don't just mean that in the "puncher's chance" way either, he's still a very solid all around fighter with power in his strikes and maybe the meanest body kick this side of Bas. I'd still take him over a lot of fighters that people have in their top 10.



I agree. I feel like his popularity was derailed pretty badly by Anderson taking over the division, and people seemed to forget that before Anderson, Franklin was the guy that no one at 185 could handle and even now he's a guy who is a very solid 205er only ever losing to former champions.
Twenty20Dollars
7/22/11 9:16:06PM

Posted by Adrenaline

I know where you are coming from and maybe I'm just misunderstanding but what you described is exactly what Rich has done for the UFC his entire career, he has taken on all comers in two different weight divisions and stepped up to help the UFC on countless occasions. He turned down a fight that did little for his career and there are few people in the UFC who have earned that right and Frankilin is definately one of them.

I understand though, I love that fight anyone, anytime, any where attitude. That is why I'm a big fan of Liddell, Penn etc...



I can't remember much back into career in what fights he stepped up for or whatever.

Franklin did have something to gain, a win. Instead of facing another top guy and taking back to back losses. And more respect.

But he can do what he wants, he's a big boy and earned the right.
Aether
7/22/11 9:53:38PM

Posted by Twenty20Dollars


Posted by Adrenaline

I know where you are coming from and maybe I'm just misunderstanding but what you described is exactly what Rich has done for the UFC his entire career, he has taken on all comers in two different weight divisions and stepped up to help the UFC on countless occasions. He turned down a fight that did little for his career and there are few people in the UFC who have earned that right and Frankilin is definately one of them.

I understand though, I love that fight anyone, anytime, any where attitude. That is why I'm a big fan of Liddell, Penn etc...



I can't remember much back into career in what fights he stepped up for or whatever.

Franklin did have something to gain, a win. Instead of facing another top guy and taking back to back losses. And more respect.

But he can do what he wants, he's a big boy and earned the right.



He accommodated 2 opponents in catchweight fights after he had already moved to 205, stepped in against Liddell at the last minute when Tito Ortiz withdrew during TUF, fought his close friend, Matt Hamill, something that almost no one in the UFC will agree to do.

Franklin probably takes more last minute and special-circumstance fights than any other single fighter on the entire UFC roster. Out of the last 6 fights he took 4 that 95% of fighters in his position would have rejected. 2 catchweights, a last minute replacement, and a fight against his training partner. The guy probably wants to do things like have a real training camp, not fight his teammates, fight at his actual weight class, or know who is opponent is more than 2 weeks in advance, since he hasn't been able to do those things very often despite being one of the most established fighters in the organization.


Adrenaline:
I am a BJ Penn fan and I don't believe for half a second that BJ is a "fight anyone anytime" kind of fighter. BJ picks and chooses who he wants to fight, when he wants to fight them, where he wants to fight them, whether he feels like training hard or not, etc. we're talking about the guy who left the UFC when he held the belt at 170 because he didn't feel like any of the opponents were worth his time, so he is absolutely the exact opposite of any anytime any place kind of fighter to be fair.
Pookie
7/22/11 10:02:42PM
I dont see how you drew that conclusion from that premise(The whole Bj penn thing). You may certainly have a valid point, but from what was written, i don't get how that connects to the conclusion. Maybe you skipped a step? I was never one to write all the steps for long division myself.
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