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Rich Franklin feels rift developing with UFC

Ask most fans to name five of the most recognized fighters in UFC history and chances are Rich Franklin’s name will come up on more than one list. An eight year veteran of the organization, Franklin has delivered a number of memorable performances inside the Octagon including a reign as 185-pound champion and past wins over Evan Tanner, Ken Shamrock, Wanderlei Silva, and Chuck Liddell.

However, “Ace” has sensed a change lately regarding his relationship with the UFC and pointed to a recent interview with Dana White for reference.

In a July conversation White explained Franklin hadn’t been pulled from UFC 133 after his original adversary, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, went out with injury but rather that Franklin turned down the bout he was offered.

“We had another opponent for Rich but Rich didn’t want to take that fight. He said, ‘You know what, man, I’m at a stage in my career where I only want to fight the top of the heap. I want to fight the top name guys,” the UFC President revealed to AOL.

“I’ve never ducked any other opponent in my life,” Franklin stated in response today on The MMA Hour while expressing his disappointment in White’s comments.

“That feeling of family, it’s dissipated a little bit,” the 37-year old continued. “It’s not the same as it used to be when I first starting fighting for the UFC, and I basically told Lorenzo Fertitta that. I said, ‘Hey, I feel like sometimes you guys don’t really have my back,’ and he told me that they’d been really busy with the FOX deal and all that kind of stuff.”

Ever the “company man”, a label the surefire Hall of Famer acknowledged in its basis, the 28-6 middleweight said his immediate focus will be on recovering from shoulder surgery and returning to the ring at some point in 2012. However, the weight the match-up will take place at, or when he’ll actually be scheduled to fight, are things he plans on leaving up to the UFC based on his divisional limbo as an undersized 205er who has struck out twice against 185-pound title-holder Anderson Silva.

“If the UFC said something to me about fighting at middleweight again, I’d be great with that (but) if they’re not going to let me work toward a title, in the meantime, as long as I can just work at putting on exciting fights and that stuff, then I’m good with doing that.”

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

8 COMMENTS
  • edub says:

    Give him one more run at MW. Start out with somebody like Leben. If he keeps winning give him one more shot at Silva.

    Or give him Hendo if he loses to Rua.

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  • Batman says:

    I like Franklin, I think I have become a fan of his because of how respectful he is. I can’t wait to see him fight again.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    I like Franklin but I don’t think he has anything for Silva… Just let him put on exciting fights and meaningful fights if a title shot happens it happens but i wouldn’t make that his only path… Just give him good fights.

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  • Middleweight is a lot deeper now than it was when Rich was holding the belt let him work his way up and should he have only The Spider left in his way…give him another shot at him, why not? Maybe Andersons age is slowing him down? HAHAHAHHA….it was hard to even type that with a straight face.

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  • MCM says:

    Agree with the MW division being deeper than when Rich was king.
    Rich vs Sonnen – good fight
    Rich vs Belcher – good fight
    Rich vs Palhares – very interesting fight
    Rich vs Leben – good fight
    Rich vs Bisping – good fight
    Rich vs Belfort (rematch) – good fight
    And if he makes it to the top of the division, fine by me.

    The guy has so much fan and media appeal it would be insane not to capitalize on it every chance they get. He’s lost as much in his last 5 fights as he did in his first 29 and he’s still incredibly popular. Very few fighters have that kind of appeal, so let him use it.

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  • Agreed MCM..ALL those are interesting fights…from Rich’s perspective they’re all hungry fighters on good rolls with some huge to moderate star power behind them…from everyone else’s perspective a win over rich franklin for any of them minus Vitor would be a huge feather in their cap.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I’m surprised Rich still wants to do the middleweight cut. Well, maybe not “wants”, but I guess if he’s resigned himself to being a small light-heavy, then there isn’t much else to do. If anything, I really think 195 would be a good division to start; I am sure guys like Franklin and Hendo are not alone in hating the cut to 185, but end up at a size disadvantage when they move to light-heavy.

    I’m normally not one to advocate more divisions as a solution to these things, but (in theory, anyway) we’d also get another belt to help add some drawing power to the ramp-up in UFC events.

    Regardless, whenever Rich fights, my net worth is negative $50. It’s just how it is.

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  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    Franklin is effed at this point in his career-And you can blame Silva for the uncomfortable position that he now finds himself in(on multiple occasions)-the only fight that makes sense at this point is the winner of Tito or Lil Nog

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