Rich Franklin Wants to Make One More Run at the UFC Middleweight Title

March 23, 2012

Rich FranklinIn July 2011, just before his scheduled fight at UFC 133, Rich Franklin was of the mindset that his time at middleweight was over.

“The UFC has basically told me that they’re not interested in having me fight at 185 anymore,” Franklin said in an interview with “Which is the only reason I made the move to 205 in the first place.”

Fast forward to March 2012 after Franklin had shoulder surgery that kept him out of fighting for the remainder of 2011, and it was announced that he would face former Strikeforce champion Cung Le at UFC 148.

The biggest surprise about that fight of course is that it’s taking place at middleweight.

So what changed over these last several months that brought Frankling back down to 185 pounds?

“After this injury, I was talking to Monte Cox and I said what would the UFC think about me moving back down to 185? I think at this point in time, in their minds, if I was able to put a title run together, even if they did do another rematch between Anderson (Silva) and I, there’s been enough time at this point there would be interest in the fight, and I guess that’s what the interest is now,” Franklin told MMAWeekly Radio on Thursday.

Truth be told, Franklin was never a huge fan of fighting at light heavyweight to begin with, so when the door opened back up for him to return to 185 pounds, he jumped at the chance.

There are no certainties in MMA of course, so the door to return to 205 pounds isn’t closed by any means, but Franklin is hopeful that his final days of fighting will all be carried out in the UFC’s middleweight division.

“I try to avoid absolutes, but yeah if I’m going to move down to 185, making a jump to 205 is a difficult thing to do and making a jump back down to 185 is a difficult thing to do, but constantly moving back and forth between the two, and I was doing catchweights at 195, that makes things more difficult,” said Franklin.

“You don’t really have a home. Your body is constantly having to adjust to different weights, so this should help stabilize things for me. Hopefully, this is where I’ll finish my career.”

Of course, just coming back from major shoulder surgery and having his first fight scheduled against Cung Le in July, Franklin knows he’s still a ways off from competing for the UFC middleweight title again, but that’s still his ultimate goal.

The passion to once again claim the 185-pound title that he held and defended two times is something that Franklin still holds near and dear.

“That would be my Cinderella story. It would be great. I had one chance at that and fighting in my hometown and all that kind of stuff to regain my title, swing and a miss, strike one. I moved up to 205 and never really quite put things together at 205, swing and a miss, strike two. So hopefully this would be the way to end it,” Franklin stated.

“We’re starting with a good exciting fight, we’ll move forward from there. But that would be my Cinderella story.”

Check out the full interview with Rich Franklin from MMAWeekly Radio below:

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  1. I think Franklin can still be a contender, but ultimately he isnt going to be able to beat Silva again if he gets the chance.

  2. I think he’s dreaming–between A.Silva, Belfort, and Sonnen hell be destroyed–The talent pool is too deep at 185– Id bet even Bisping would take him out. Although, I will say id pay to see that fight. Franklins in a bad spot,Forrest proved he’s too small to hang with bigger light heavyweights, and hes just not a top 5 fighter anymore at 185–That said, Franklin was a great champion in his day, and should he retire, will most likley be a shoe in for the UFC hall of fame.

  3. I am not a Franklin fan but I do respect what he has done but his time has come and gone.. He has every right to make a run at the title but I dont think he is a top 5 either… I disagree with one thing he said NOBODY wants to see Silva vs Franklin trilogy it wouldnt go down any different then the first 2 fights… Im actually anxious to see Alan Belcher and Rousimar Phalares (mispelled badly) the new blood get some bigger fights in the division.

  4. When silva retire, than maybe.

  5. Franklin still has some left in the tank. Do I think he’ll ever be middleweight champ again? No. But he can definitely mix up the division.

  6. Rich vs. Bisping after their respective victories. However, Cung Lee and Boetsch are definitely gonna be tough fights for these guys. Boetsch may surprise a lot of people. Jeet Kune Do baby.

  7. Rich has only lost to world class talent. machida, silva, belfort, Hendo

  8. A.Silva, Sonnen, Belfort,V.silva,Hendo(if he goes back down which he said he would for a A.S rematch),Bisping,Paulharis(butcherd spelling I already know),Cung Lee,Boetsch, Belcher —just to name a few–The middle weight calas is f@*kin DEEP

    • its easier to just say paul harris haha

  9. He will never be a contender again. I appreciate what he accomplished in the past, but he is not ever going to see another title shot at MW (or any other weight class) again.

  10. i hear ya tkd im gonna end up puttin my money on cung le hopefully he can catch em with a spinning heel kick or somethin.either way i got my man cung taking it.

  11. Franklin needs three dominating performances over good fighters at MW to enter the title picture. I don’t see it in him though. One of his weaknesses has been his inability to improve much after losses. For example he couldn’t bring himself to watch his losses to Silva on tape. That would be the most beneficial thing he could possibly do.

  12. Franklin’s natural weight is 205, that is where he “should” be. His body looks MUCH better at 205 than 185, where he has always looked too emaciated to me.

    Franklin will go down in history as one of the best to ever compete in the sport, and one of the classiest competitors ever. That being said, I do not believe in my heart he will ever be a champion at 185 again. I would love for him to prove me wrong however!

  13. Good for him, i love this guy he is a class act.

  14. Franklin is bad ass, he has been out of the game for a minute since his loss to Forrest but he still looked good in that fight. Im not to interested in a trilogy because i agree with most on this page, it will be a re-run of the other two fights. However i think he will surprise a lot of you when he returns. I think he has the tools, power and heart to beat any top 5 contender. If he comes prepared, he can send cung back to the plastic surgeon for sure. But i think if he runs for a title shot it will stop around Vitor.