Report: Rich Franklin to return at UFC 88

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MMA Junkie is reporting that Rich Franklin is set to make his way back into the Octagon at UFC 88 in Atlanta, GA, a card headlined by a 205 lbs. fight between contenders Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans. The report goes on to say that Franklin will more than likely be the co-main event of the evening. No opponent has been finalized as of yet, but this bit of information from the report may give us some insight:

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.

Personally I would like to see Franklin face off against Dan Henderson in the co-main event at this card at 185 lbs. Without a title fight on the card, they need strong matchups in order to make sure the pay-per-view does well. Franklin’s best weight is clearly at 185 lbs. and having him move up to fight the bigger fighters at 205 lbs. doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sure, there are intriguing matchups, but at what cost? Henderson vs. Franklin makes a lot more sense in the grand scheme of things.

20 COMMENTS
  • laserline says:

    Isn’t Hendo facing Rousimar Polihares?

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  • Nick says:

    Adam, Dan Henderson was on TAGG radio yesterday and they asked him about a fight with Rich Franklin. he said he isn’t against it, but he thinks its not being set up because it doens’t make alot of sense for Rich right now. If Rich beats Dan, who else is there in the division for him to fight? they want to build him back up and deal with the Anderson Silva situation at that point. If he fights and beats Henderson now, he has beaten the number two guy in the division and is back to facing a fight with Anderson that no one wants to see right now. I kinda see his point, but I would still love to see Franklin and Hendo go at it. Although….Rich Franklin vs Andre Gumao is very interesting fight and could be set up for UFC 88. Just a thought…..

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  • Two Toes says:

    Matt Hamill.

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  • i don’t want to see hendo vs. franklin, why ruin to good former champs? hendo needs to fight a. silva again and when he wins then they should fight for the belt but not before. hendo can’t afford anotther lose

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  • James Coiwnock says:

    I couldn’t agree more, both fighters have some interesting match-ups left but this is a fight that needs to happen now…before it realllllly doesn’t matter.

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  • Dave says:

    If Rich is indeed moving up to 205, how about Rich vs Machida? Machida should be ready to fight again come September and since nobody else seems to want to fight him, I think Franklin might be the man for the job. I’m sure he would like an opportunity to avenge that loss and if Machida were to win, he beats one of the UFC’s most well known fighters. It could only help him as he continues to move towards a title shot, especially if he finishes Rich again. Thoughts?

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  • thomas says:

    what not have franklin fight marquardt? or the winner of the cote almeida fight?

    there are still some quality fights for franklin at 185, no need for him to move into a stacked division.

    but if he does fight at 205, id like to see him fight thiago silva

    or maybe even jardine

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  • Nick says:

    @6- Machida handled Franklin pretty easily the first time, why in the world would they make that matchup again? They want Rich to win, they have to much invested into him to feed him to Machida again.

    @7- I agree, I think there are quite a few fights at 185 for Franklin, but for some reason they are treating him like he doesn’t have a future there. And I don’t think Jardine will be fighting for a while after Wand destroyed him. He is probably waking up in a cold sweat evey night dreaming of Wand coming to eat him.

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  • David says:

    The only reason for Franklin to fight at 205 is to avoid Silva. Silva moved to 205 Franklin’s problem is solved. Its time for Kampman vs. Franklin then Marquardt vs Hollywood with the winners fighting for the “We can’t beat Anderson Silva thank God he’s moved up to bigger boys Vacant Middleweight Title”

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  • revjames13 says:

    At 185 I would like to see Franklin fight Marquardt, as a few other have mentioned. I think Marquardt has skill set to be number 2 in the division, therefore I’d like to see him fight the current #3 (Franklin) and the current #2 (Hendo). Then he can get back in there with Silva and go for a better result.

    I don’t think Silva is planning a permanent move to 205, he’s just going to cherry pick fights there and see how it goes. I think it’s a mistake for him (but not for us, since we get to see him fight tougher competition). If someone at 205 catches him on the button (even Irvin is a possibility for that) then he plummets back to 185 with a lot of his mystique gone.

    If he keeps winning though, I’d love to see him fight Chuck. As far as Franklin goes, he’s just mixing things up to see what happens. Don’t see him getting another belt, certainly not at 205, but if he wins a few fights and Silva gets upset in the meantime (see Okami or Marquardt), he might get another title shot at 185.

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  • bjjdenver says:

    Beyond Anderson, there are a lot of interesting fights to be had at 185. There is a very deep pool of fighters, especially grapplers, that could be paired against each other. The perception that this division is weak, is primarily due to the domination of Silva and the lack of familiarity to casual fans, of the other fighters.

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  • Jackyl says:

    Leites, Marquardt, Henderson. Plenty of fights at 185. If he moves up he is in danger of taking a big loss.

    And why do we think Henderson would fair better in a rematch with Silva? Silva owned him and if you don’t remember watch the fight again and look at the look on Hendersons face when he taps.

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  • Two Toes says:

    MMA rated is confirming that this fight is against Matt Hamill although you can clearly see by the timing of my first post that I was the one to actually break the story ;-)

    http://mmarated.com/blogs/blog/20080701/exclusive__franklin_vs__hamill_at_ufc_88-265.html

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  • kirby says:

    Jackyl if a guy is winning more than half the fight I don’t think of that as being owned. To answer your question, I feel Hendo lost that fight by giving Silva too much respect. So if he’s going to realy fight I’ll personaly be ok with a rematch.

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  • revjames13 says:

    Marquardt also said he gave Silva too much respect in their first fight.

    Funny, I think Silva was doing something DURING the fight to make them give him too much respect.

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  • mod says:

    god i just want to see silva lose already. the mw division lost its luster. eff it. have hendo and rich go at winner takes on silva. they might find a weakness after the spiders lhw debut….hopefully sandman puts him to sleep

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  • MoreThanUFC says:

    The best the UFC could do is Hamill vs Franklin?

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  • kirby says:

    I think Nate has looked like a better fighter recently than when he fought Anderson. I don’t know if he got better or if Silva made him look less than he is. Hendo is a different story though, he stood toe to toe with Wandy and Rampage. He knocked out Wandy and he made Rampageto decidede wrestle instead of box. When Hendo fought Anderson he seemed like he didn’t want to stand and trade at all. I know he’s a wrestler but he seemed to abandon his stand up intirely. Why?Also on the ground he didn’t do much either. Why? In my opinion he gave Silva too much respect. I’m not saying he is beter I just think it should have been a beter fight and that Dan could win.
    That’s why I want to see them fight again.

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  • Beef says:

    LOL, Hendo (as much as I like him as a fighter & personality) didn’t stand with Silva in R1 because he got a golden opportunity to take Silva down in an awkward position after Silva’s funky flying knee attempt. He took it and ended up not being able to do much with it. That pretty much sums up R1 entirely.

    R2 they started on their feet again and Silva decided to _not_ try a funky move (e.g. flying knee) like he did in R1. Hendo had his chance here to try to stand with Silva. What followed was classic Anderson Silva…

    BTW, do y’all remember the behind the scenes footage leading up to the main event that night? Hendo was chilling and relaxing cracking jokes with his entourage in the warm-up room. Silva was reviewing some moves. Interestingly all of them shown were counter-moves against a looping right hand bomb. He must have had at least 6-8 different counters. Somehow, I think that Silva would have been ready for whatever Hendo could try standing up.

    Does anyone else see Silva’s (potential) move up to 205 as a way for him to get more $$$ via the Roy Jones Jr. Fight et al? Make the move to 205; Vacate the 185 title; Win your fights and look good doing so; finish up your contract ASAP and leave the UFC (no more Champion Clause to tie you down); Take your reputation built up in the UFC as the greatest P4P and cash in on superfights. Retire rich and with the rep.

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  • double A-ron says:

    good call two toes, that should be a good test for franklin, but he should prevail

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