Though he had a couple of stretches were fights didn’t pan out, for Bellator heavyweight Davion Franklin, 2020 ended up being a very successful debut year.
For Franklin, perhaps the most difficult part of the year was when his scheduled December bout with Anthony Garrett at Bellator 254 fell apart at the last minute due to Garrett’s inability to get medically cleared to compete.
“2020 would have been so great if I would have had that fight in December, but it was good though,” Franklin told MMAWeekly.com. “Right now I think I’m ready to start 2021 with some consecutive fights and just show the world who I really am.
“It was one thing for the (Garrett) fight to be cancelled fight week, but it was another thing for it to happen two hours before check-in. That’s what hurts the most. I was getting myself prepared, I fired myself up, so that was disappointing.”
Coming into his second year, Franklin feels like he’s matured a lot, especially in the mental aspect of his game.
“I’m much more cerebral,” said Franklin. “I’m much more patient. I understand the game better.
“Last year I was, for a lack of a better word, I wanted to be kind of a brute a little bit, but now I feel like I’m actually a mixed martial artist. I feel like now I’m dangerous. I know I’m dangerous. I feel like I’m still proving myself, but I know myself better.”
On May 21 in Uncasville, Connecticut, Franklin (2-0) will look to kick off his 2021 where he left off last year when he takes on Tyler King (12-9) in a preliminary heavyweight bout at Bellator 259.
“I’m excited to have this fight against a game opponent,” Franklin said of King. “My last opponent wasn’t that game, but I know this guy is game, so I feel good and very thankful for it.
“In order for me to win I’ve just got to do me. I think these guys have to game plan for me. I’ve just got to be patient. That’s it.”
For Franklin, being part of the heavyweight division means he can make a lot of headway quickly, and looks to do so in 2021.
“By this year since I’m already ranked, even at 2-0, I’d like to be at least lined up for a contender shot or title shot,” said Franklin. “I want people to know this guy should be a champion; not that he has the potential, but can be the champion.
“I’m 26 right now, and I’m not getting any younger. I can do it. I truly believe I can do it. I’m not going to shy away from any fights Bellator throws my way.”