MMAFighting.com has conducted a recent interview with Rich Franklin. Franklin sets the record straight about how the replacement opponent for Martin Kampmann was decided upon for UFC 72.
There had been a lot of message forum scuttlebut (wow, did I just use that word?) that Paulo Filho was proposed as an opponent and Franklin turned it down. Franklin confirms that Filho was disucssed as a possibility, but that the UFC made the final decision to move Okami into the main event.
Here’s the excerpt that sets the record straight:
Rich Franklin: I was actually out of town the night that I found out that Kampmann was hurt. I got a call from a friend of mine. I called my manager to find out if there was any truth to the matter. He said he hadn’t heard anything from the UFC. He called the UFC and called me back saying that the UFC was going to have to find somebody. It took a couple of days before they came back with a name for me. Actually, they had thrown Paulo Filho and Yushin Okami. And so Monte and I were discussing the whole scenario, and I told Monte [Cox] to just let me know who the UFC decides to come back with.
MMAFighting.com: So, it wasn’t your choice?
Rich Franklin: No, not at all. Several days later they came back with Yushin Okami as the replacement. I said that’s fine. Either way, I was fine. I essentially said, “Cool, let me know what they decide.”
You can read the full interview here: