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Report: Rich Franklin vs. Matt Hamill at UFC 88

MMA Rated is reporting that Rich Franklin will indeed be making the move to light heavyweight to face off against fellow Cincinnati fighter Matt Hamill at UFC 88.

MMA Junkie first reported the possibility of Franklin moving up in weight yesterday and now it seems that MMA Rated has confirmed the weight increase as well as his opponent.

Franklin last fought at UFC 83 against Travis Lutter, a fight he won via TKO in the second round. Hamill’s last fight came against Tim Boetsch at UFC Fight Night 13 this past April, where he overwhelmed the Pennsylvanian wrestler via TKO in the second round.

This is a risky fight for Franklin who has everything to lose and nothing to gain by beating Hamill. It’s a perfect opportunity for Hamill, however, to really put himself on the map by beating one of the UFC’s most recognizable and loved stars.

  • Michael says:

    I might be wrong but at one point did Hamill train with franklin?

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  • Big Chuck says:

    Franklin will destroy Hamill … PERIOD !!!
    these 2 fighters are “worlds apart”

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  • Billy says:

    This is a great fight, but I still wanted to see Henderson vs. Franklin at 185lbs. I think Hamill will be a handful for Franklin. If Franklin wins it will be by KO and if Hamill wins by a TKO or UD. I can’t wait to watch this card live in ATL.

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  • Redness says:

    I understand the frankllin move to 205 but the 185 division really needs some infusion. But man there are some good fights for him there.

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  • Jeff L says:

    Tell me again why Franklin and Henderson couldn’t square off against each other instead of Palhares and Hamill as next opponents? I mean WTF? On a side note, this is a suck fight for Rich to re-join his old weight class with. There are easily 10 other LHW’s I would rather see him fight, and would provide a more compelling match up for PPV.

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  • thomas says:

    this fight doesnt make sense at all

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  • KOB says:

    Pure idiocy.

    Take the 2 best stars at middleweight in Silva and Franklin and move them up to the most stacked division in light heavyweight. The middleweight division is terrible outside of those two and Hendo and Bisping.

    Just ridiculous.

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  • matt says:

    I think Hamill has a chance to win. His wrestling is increadible and the advantage of being a huge MW is lost. I don’t like this matchup at all.

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  • mike wolfe says:

    #8 matt

    I agree that Hamill has a legit chance to win. He’s very strong and Franklin could be in serious trouble if Hamill takes him down. The fight is interesting to me because of Franklin’s move to light heavy, and also because it’s classic striker vs. wrestler.

    A fight between Franklin and Wanderlai or Henderson would generate more excitement, but first matching Franklin against a younger, less experienced fighter makes sense. If Franklin can’t beat Hamill, it doesn’t auger well for his experiment with a new weight class. If he wins, it increases the legitimacy of fights with the top tier. And if UFC threw Franklin in right away with the top tier and he lost badly, there’d be a lot of backbiting. “Didn’t deserve it,” etc.

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  • StayDown says:

    I don’t see how Matt has any chance of winning this fight. Sure, he is a great wrestler, but Rich has great takedown defense and has submissions that most have never seen him use before. His ground game is highly underrated.

    I see Matt stadning with Rich for a few until Rich catches him with a punch unlike anything Mayy has felt before and then he goes for the takedown, Rich defends and wins via TKO in the first!

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  • Sporadic says:

    As much as I want to see the Hendo/Franklin fight, it doesn’t make sense right now.

    Let’s say they fight and Franklin wins… well Franklin will not fight Silva again, and now Hendo has 3 losses in the UFC and it would be hard to market him for any big fights. So, then the 185 class has Silva on a pedestal, Franklin on a shorter pedestal, then everyone else… how is that helping anything.

    Let’s say Hendo wins… would they really give him a rematch with Silva so quickly? Probably not. So, now Hendo gets to set at #2 and has to fight a couple scrubs and they’ve hurt Franklin.

    Like I said, it doesn’t make sense right now. A Hendo/Franklin fight would be huge, but they want it to be for the title. So, let Hendo fight a couple scrubs, Franklin can play with the 205lb’ers, and maybe Hendo beats Silva in a rematch a year down the road. Or Silva gives up the belt to fight as a light-heavy. Those are scenerios for a Hendo/Franklin title fight.

    Franklin is pretty much useless for the UFC as a middleweight when Silva is the champ. No one wants to see him get beatup by Silva again, so why have Franklin ruin other top fighters in the division. The UFC is having enough issues trying to market fighters against Silva.

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  • Smokes says:

    #10 well said. Franklin’s ground game is highly underrated because he never goes there. Also another problem with the Stiker vs Grappler fight is that Rich is a clinch striker meaning that he will really hurt Matt when he tries to take this to the ground. The last thing I want to point out is that a fight for Franklin at MW would do him no good anymore. If he beats Hendo he just stated that he is the second best fighter at MW period and would deserve another title shot immediatly. Well nobody wants to see another title fight between him and Silva and he has stomped everyone who is coming at him including beating Okami.

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  • Schlegel says:

    I agree, this isn’t the best matchup for Rich or for Hammil, sure, if Hammil wins it is huuge for him, but the chances aren’t good for Hammil, and in response to the first poster, yes they did train together 3 or 4 years back here in Cincy. They are also both sponsored by American Fighter.
    One thing no one seems to mention is that Franklin has fought at 205 before, and walks around heavier than 205, but that said hammil is stronger than him, but as Hammil has shown even if he gets takedowns, most opponents have been able to stand right back up.

    I would have to put my mony on 2nd rnd TKO win for Franklin, if i were a betting man that is, lol.

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  • rogelio says:

    Hey #1, you are correct. Matt and Rich used to train together back in the day. Since there were no “camps” in the Cincy (now trains out of Jorge Gurgel Academy), Rich found the most accomplished wrestler in the ‘Nati to be his wrestling coach, but Matt had no MMA experience. Rich actually got Matt on TUF. Matt Hamill actually had to get a couple of fights before the show started. This should make for a really interesting fight.

    Frankin and Anderson Silva are taking similar routes for venturing into the LHW division. I would consider Hamill and James Irvin, Anderson’s opponent on July 19th, to be on the same “tier”. The HAMMER and the SANDMAN would have made for a very compelling fight in a division that needs some clarity.

    Franklin, the former champ at 185, will have the experience egde by a long shot, but don’t count Matt out. He has the size advantage, and comes to the table with world class wrestling. He has come very far from the decorated college wrestler we saw on television.

    On a side note… I think its cool now a days we dont have to prefice Matt Hamill as deaf fighter. His is an incredible story of accomplishment, given how hard it is in the competitive sport of MMA. The biggest training centers/camps. Teams with multiple title holders and or former champions. The added challenge of being deaf would seem to be a lot tougher, gut he is just another fighter trying to make his in a stacked LHW division.

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  • Jye says:

    I see Rich having a lot of troubles in this fight. He couldn’t stop Lutter’s takedown in the first round of their fight and Hamill is a bigger buy with better wrestling, cardio and striking than Lutter

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  • scaryguy says:

    Rich actually started training with his wrestling in harrison, OH (his hometown) with a harrison wrestling state champion, Adam Sellet (who beat hamill in wrestling). That is where Rich got his wrestling start when he began training MMA. They worked for a about 6 months depending on Sellets work schedule. Hamill is a good wrestler, but does not know how to finish an opponent, even if Franklin gets taken to the mat, he will have the proper ground game to reverse or stand it back up, it will just be a matter of time before rich knocks him out.

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  • CB says:

    Matt Hamill will win !!

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  • psychopatrick says:

    Franklin will KILL KO Hamill PERIOD he cant keep his hand up on 2 round lazy ass

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  • scaryguy says:

    Good call CB…like i said…it was just a matter of time till franklin knocks him out! (just didnt expect it to be from a kick to the ribs)

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