Tonight at UFC 147, Rich Franklin survived a second round scare against Wanderlei Silva and went on to claim his second career victory over the Brazilian legend in his own backyard.
In his post-fight interview Franklin confirmed after this 190lbs catchweight fight it’s still his intention to now move back down to the middleweight division he once reigned to make one last push for the title.
With that in mind, who should Franklin fight next?
Franklin was originally scheduled to face Cung Le at UFC 148 early next month, and if Le can get past his new opponent Patrick Cote then that’s certainly still a fight that makes sense.
If the UFC are interested in fast-tracking Franklin into the title picture however then he might need to face a fighter with more standing in the division and both Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping fit that bill and would be excellent stylistic match-ups for ‘Ace’.
In all fairness though, Belcher and Bisping have better recent records than Franklin though so realistically I’d actually like to see Bisping take on Belcher fight next, and let Franklin face Le.
As for Wanderlei Silva’s next fight: based on what I saw tonight I don’t think there’s a whole lot of time left in his career.
His next fight may end up being his last so let him have one last hurrah by having the opportunity to finally get that second fight with Vitor Belfort that had originally been planned for tonight’s main event.