twitter google

For Franklin, all Roads Lead to Anderson Silva

Rich “Ace” Franklin (24-3) has enjoyed one of the most prosperous MMA careers in the sports young history. He is a former UFC middleweight champion and has only tasted defeated three times in his career, at the hands of the undefeated Lyoto Machida and the best pound-for-pound fighter Anderson Silva (twice).

Silva has dominated the middleweight division in the UFC since defeating Franklin at UFC 64 for the middleweight title, defeating anyone that has challenged him, including Franklin again at UFC 77. So rather than attempt to fight Silva for a third time, Franklin decided to move to light heavyweight to start another run at a title. It looked like Silva would no longer impede Franklin’s path to glory.

It’s rather cliché to say, “life comes full circle” or “that many roads have the same destination” but it applies to Franklin. His first fighter against a light heavyweight title contender is against Dan Henderson, but there’s a catch. The winner will coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Michael Bisping. At the conclusion of the show they will face off at middleweight with the winner getting a title shot against…Silva.

Franklin now finds himself between a rock and Anderson Silva. He’s stated that he would rather not coach a second season of TUF, and he would also prefer not to face Silva for a third time, as he was never really in the fights the first two go-rounds. Yet if that is what’s laid before him then he’ll do anything and everything to win. And losing to Henderson isn’t an option as it would cause him to get lost in the shuffle at 205.

Going into the fight with Henderson one would have to wonder what Franklin’s mindset is. He left his comfort zone at middleweight to avoid one person, so is he prepared to travel down the road that leads to Silva again. It’s said that “the third times a charm” but does that hold true when battling your archenemy?

It could come down to a nearly unstoppable force clashing with an immovable object for their final showdown. Silva has said he plans to retire in about years time from now. By the time this potential fight with Franklin would happen, it could mark the end of Silva’s career. How fitting would it be for Franklin to be the final test of Silva’s career, where things would come full circle for both men.

One thing is for sure, Franklin is and always has been a warrior in the cage. Any challenge thrown his way he has overcome, with very few exceptions. Now as another road to a title is paved before him can he final exercise the demon known as “The Spider” from his life and recapture the title he lost back in 2006?

Although Franklin has yet to take the first step on this journey, and for all we know the dream may all fall apart before it really begins, but to watch him battle his way back to the top is a compelling story fit for the silver screen of Hollywood. The dream could start with Franklin defeating Henderson at UFC 93, and if he does it will offer fans a storyline like none other in 2009, as Franklin once again looks to be called a champion in the UFC.

19 COMMENTS
  • saer says:

    “His first fight at 205 is against Dan Henderson, but there’s a catch”

    It’s not franklins first fight at LHW.. He fought Matt Hamill at 205.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Clint E. says:

    Rich must take a real hard assesment of his second bout with Silva and from that decide that he needs to visit Greg Jackson or someone very skilled in breaking down fighters, and training to handle Silva’s clinch. He did better in the second fight but still did not execute.
    Gurgel isnt going to take Rich to the next level. Some times going outside what we are use to isnt what human beings or fighters like to do since its not in our comfort zone. Rich if this gets back to you………..please…………go outside your usual camp…..call Jackson

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ryan says:

    even hammil isnt his first fight at LHW. he fought at lhw for years. he fought shamrock at lhw at the 1st TUF finale

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • saer says:

    Ryan: Yeah I knew that but I figured he meant that it would be Rich’s first fight “back” at 205

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • RJA says:

    I’m a huge franklin fan,and hope he wins but i must admit i’m a little skeptical of his chances against hendo.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    “Ryan: Yeah I knew that but I figured he meant that it would be Rich’s first fight “back” at 205″

    Since what!? His LAST fight at 205…. Against Mark Hammil.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • portland mma says:

    Saer Franklins fought at 205 more then just against Hamill, his first like 4 fights where and he fought at 205 against Machida (who ironically KO’d him).

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • matt od says:

    1st off lord faust you just sound like a jerk. Leave the kid alone. Now to my point. Rich has always been one of my favorite fighter. WIth that being said he hasnt beat a huger name in a long long time. Tonights fight lets us kno who Ace is. Is he a guy that was a big fish in a small pond that was the early MW division of the UFC. Or is he one of the best the sport has to offer. I hope its the latter

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Chris says:

    in terms of the debate of teh first fight at light heavyweight it does say

    “His first fighte against a light heavyweight title contender is against Dan Henderson”

    So i think he just means that its his first fight at lw against top talent again

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Cap'n C says:

    Read the article carefully next time, his first fight against a “Title Contender” at 205. Unless you really think Matt Hamill’s a title contender.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • NJMMAFAN says:

    I still think Franklin has a shot at beating anderson. If anything rich should have a gander at the ufc92 footage of rampage and wanderlei…Rampage didnt fare too much better than franklin in his first two attempts to down silva. That should be the inspiration and confidence he needs. I also agree with you Clint it gets frustrating to watch a fighter come out with the same gameplan every time and not change any aspect of his game…Im looking at you liddell…I believe its important to diversify the angles at which you attack and your tendencies in the cage and not come in doing everything the opponent expects.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • CMT says:

    Greg – Where are you?? Have not heard from you yet. Come on, give me an excuse to get off my couch and train!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • fightfan says:

    What a crock….Bisping gets a title shot with a win against Franklin/Hendo. What BS. He couldnt hang at LH. Nearly all fights were with bottom of the barrel fighters(if they are even still with the UFC). We all know he lost to Hammil.

    Then down to MW, he gets 2 scrub fights(McCarthy, not even a fighter anymore)….. then beats another average fighter, Jason Day. SO he fights an average Leben(at best) and that sets him up for a chance at a title shot???? What horseshit.

    So, Show airs in April, meaning that Bisping vs Hendo/Franklin will occur sometime in July, August of 09…….Therefore making a title shot towards the end of 2009. So ALL the REAL contenders like Marquardt, loser of Hendo/Franklin,Reljic, Gouveia, Maia, even Grove and well as a few others will fight 2 or 3 times against the top at 185 in 2009 with NO SHOT at the title till AT LEAST 2010????……While Bisping sits out from the Leben fight in 08 till his early Christmas present from Dana. Then, just has to win 1 fight against a contender(the FIRST contender he has fought in ENTIRE career in UFC) in about year(last fight was in Sept or Oct against Leben).

    OK. Rashad has increased so much since he and Bisping fought. that was a lay n pray fest that Bisping couldnt finish

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • glock says:

    i think rich is a great champion and human. Silva is and will continue to be his nemesis.
    That being said, it’s a non issue as i think his chances of getting past hendo are slim and none…..
    hendo silva II is the fight wanna see, though somebody needs to beat down bisping first I think.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • saer says:

    “Since what!? His LAST fight at 205…. Against Mark Hammil.”

    How about you read the first post…. genius.

    “Saer Franklins fought at 205 more then just against Hamill, his first like 4 fights where and he fought at 205 against Machida (who ironically KO’d him).”

    I already stated this before your post..


    “His first fighte against a light heavyweight title contender is against Dan Henderson”
    So i think he just means that its his first fight at lw against top talent again”

    Yeah.. But the fact of the matter is that he edited that after we pointed out that he had written it in a way that made it look like he thought it was Franklins first fight at 205 >.< He probably just formulated the sentence badly in the first place.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • James Dunn says:

    I think bisping is overrated. He will not get past hendo. Hendo has a chance of beating Silva. He won the first round and if he had initiated the takedown in the second, could have controlled him from the top. I think hendo will end up beating Spyder and then try to get both belts like he had in oride.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • DamonO says:

    Lord Faust on January 17th, 2009 11:35 am

    ““Ryan: Yeah I knew that but I figured he meant that it would be Rich’s first fight “back” at 205?

    Since what!? His LAST fight at 205…. Against Mark Hammil.”

    Who is Mark Hammil? lol

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Axl Rose says:

    I gotta a good fight for Franklin!

    Franklin vs Forrest! Awesome!!!

    What about Franklin vs Houston alexander!? Daaaaaaaaaaaaamn! That would be an awesome knockout!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • EamonJGod says:

    Yea ill take luke skywalker aka mark hammil by force choke 1st round 1st minute

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

LEAVE A COMMENT!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow 5OZ