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Rich Franklin likely to return at UFC 88

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Twenty20Dollars

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Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (23-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) will restart his quest for another title shot this fall -- most likely at a UFC 88 event in Atlanta -- though it won't necessarily come at 185 pounds.

A source closed to the Sept. 6 event tells MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Franklin has been targeted for the event, and the search for an opponent "is in full swing."

However, when contacted for comment, J.T. Stewart, Franklin's business manager, said nothing definitive has been decided and that he had no other comment.

UFC 88 currently features a main event between Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans, and the winner could be in line for a title shot with either current light heavyweight champ Quinton Jackson or Forrest Griffin, who headline this weekend's UFC 86 event in Las Vegas.

Franklin will likely be slotted for UFC 88's co-main event.

Franklin, who lost his title and a subsequent rematch to current middleweight champ Anderson Silva, most recently scored a second-round TKO of Travis Lutter at UFC 83. After the victory, Franklin told MMAjunkie.com that a third fight with Silva probably wouldn't be marketable. Many have suggested that a move to the light-heavyweight class could open some new possibilities, though Franklin has been quick to dismiss the suggestion.

However, according to our source, he and the organization are now considering a move to 205 pounds, though it wouldn't necessarily be a permanent move and could simply depend on whether or not he thinks the match-up makes sense.

Although he's one of the sport's bigger middleweights and sheds considerable weight to make the 185-pound limit, Franklin recently told MMAjunkie.com that his body is better suited for the middleweight division.

"I've been at 185 (pounds) for several years," Franklin said in April. "I think that over the past couple years, I've really changed my body composition. It used to kill me to make weight, but now it's much easier than it was three years ago, and I think it's because my body's changed a lot. I just don't think I'm big enough to compete effectively as a light heavyweight anymore."

Franklin last competed at 205 pounds at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale in April 1005. He called it a "special case" since the first-ever Spike TV broadcast would reach millions of viewers and could catapult his popularity. After defeating Shamrock, the victory did just that.

Franklin said if a similar opportunity presented itself, he may be inclined to take it.

Post #1   6/30/08 4:12:54PM   

Twenty20Dollars

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Rematch with Machida?

Post #2   6/30/08 4:13:35PM   

KYGUY07

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i hope he dont rematch Machida I really dont want to see Franklin lose his 205 debut if he does go up.

Post #3   6/30/08 4:23:10PM   

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I think 205 is where Franklin should go.

Post #4   6/30/08 4:52:07PM   

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there are too many monsters at 205. Either weight class he won't be able to take the belt, but at least at 185 he can stand strong as the #2. At 205 he might have some exciting fights, but he'll most likely add a bunch of losses to his record (if they pair him with top fighters and not some 205 scrubs). I guess better for us if he goes to 205, but bad for him and the 185 division.

Post #5   6/30/08 5:00:30PM   

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If Silva stays at 205 why not stay at 185 for Franklin this would be good for him why go to the place where there is the one guy who you can't beat is going I say watch Silva wand avoid him for Franklin. He is a great fighter but Silva makes him look like an amiture

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Post #6   6/30/08 5:02:58PM   

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I don't think his intention is to avoid Silva. At first I thought that but that wouldn't make sense with Silva taking on the Sandman in a few weeks. He is out of challengers at 185 he has beat everybody relevant and lost to the champ twice so to move to 205 opens all kinds of doors. It will extend his career and bring a lot of interesting matchups. I don't think he will ever be a champion again but he could be a dominant LHW. I still want to see him fight Hendo at 185 but other then that I say go for it!

Post #7   6/30/08 5:17:57PM   

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whatever weight classis decided, i dont care

just make hendo/franklin happen
please.

Post #8   6/30/08 6:06:19PM   

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There is still 1 fight at 185 that I would love to see, and that of course is a fight with Hendo. There are a few fights, that would be considered less at 185, they could test Bisping, and Cote or Almeida against him. Rich also has yet to fight Marquardt. I would like to see him fight Marquardt, then Hendo. Just my reasons why I think he should stay at 185.

Post #9   6/30/08 7:27:37PM   

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well rich has already fought at 205 and only lost that one time so i think he'll do fine up there, but why the hell be in a division with the only 2 guys who have beatin you?

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Post #10   6/30/08 7:35:45PM   

DiabloFreak56

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hes gotta move to 205 in my mind since he wont win the title again in 185 so its his best bet

Post #11   6/30/08 8:54:07PM   

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I guess if he moved up to 205 and fought hendo that'd be cool too

Post #12   6/30/08 9:41:28PM   

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they need to do something good to improve this card so they should give him a decent opponent. I'd say, Thiago Silva.

If they make it against Matt Hamill or Stephan Bonnar feel free to PM me cuz I'll be selling my ticket.

Post #13   6/30/08 10:55:43PM   

holt8081

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No ACE will get killed at 205, if possible he should move down not up. Hes already been KTFO by Machida once.

Last edited 6/30/08 11:26PM server time by holt8081
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Post #14   6/30/08 11:26:04PM   

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Posted by Frost_777

I guess if he moved up to 205 and fought hendo that'd be cool too



Hendos down at 185 already so maybe the match will happen.

Post #15   6/30/08 11:28:12PM   
 
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